The participants in an upcoming Jacksonville event are really getting into the spirit of it, according to Barbara Rowell, librarian at the Jacksonville Public Library.
That’s especially important since, during the library’s Oct. 8 Cemetery Stroll, they will become the awakened spirits of 22 past residents to tell these citizens’ stories.
The free event will be at the Jacksonville City Cemetery on Church Avenue Southeast from 2-4:30 p.m. Golf carts will be available for those not ambulatory, and a bus will be available to take visitors to the gates. For children ages 3 and up, a tent will be supervised by two of the children’s librarians. The rain date is Oct. 15.
The Cemetery Stroll is one of Alabama’s bicentennial events for 2017-19, when communities across the state celebrate 200 years of state history.
Jacksonville was chartered in 1833. Named for Gen. Andrew Jackson, it was a county seat at one time, and attracted many individuals whose lives should capture viewers’ interest during the Cemetery Stroll.
The volunteers who will stand among the headstones have gone beyond the call of duty in their research, Rowell said. Here are just a few that you will meet:
Annie Forney Daugette, portrayed by Brenda Morgan. As the wife of Clarence W. Daugette, she lived in The Magnolias, an Italianate-style house located on Pelham Road from 1903 until the time of her death in 1974. Daugette received an art education in New York City which contributed to her ability to re-design the Great Seal of Alabama, which is still in use today. This symbol is the official seal used by our state on official proclamations and commissions.
Morgan’s knowledge of Daugette comes from a visit with Don Calvert, Annie’s grandson, and from “The First One Hundred Years: The History of Jacksonville State University, 1883-1983” by Effie Sawyer.
“Annie is meaningful to me for many reasons,” Morgan said. “She was known as a gracious hostess to dignitaries and students in her home, and was totally involved in her children’s and grandchildren’s lives.”
Pvt. William Barry, portrayed by Peter Leavitt. Barry served in the Continental Army, directly under George Washington’s command in the American Revolutionary War. After his wife died, he moved to Benton County (later Calhoun County) to be with his daughter. In his photo accompanying this column, he carries a 1730 model of a “Brown Bess” musket.
James Gidley, who served in the War of 1812 and later settled in the Jacksonville area, is portrayed by his descendent Dan Gidley, who is coming from Texas to give his account.
Daisy Weller Smith, portrayed by Arnetha Turner. “As a child, I still remember seeing Daisy at her desk at First National Bank on the Jacksonville Square,” Turner said. “She caught my eye because she dressed so colorfully and seemed to know everybody.” Smith, who lived in Ten Oaks on Pelham Road, had deep family roots in Jacksonville, studied art design in New York and was especially proud to be selected as senior warden at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in 1975; she was the fifth-generation holder of that position.
James Freeman Grant, represented by Phillip Tutor. Grant established The Jacksonville Republican newspaper soon after Jacksonville was chartered. Grant was a man of his times: a slave owner and secessionist who championed states’ rights, according to Tutor. His newspaper was typical of Southern newspapers of that time, Tutor added.
Phoebe Catherine Jones Aderhold, portrayed by Charity Beecham. Her husband, Jacob Aderhold, was distantly related to James John (Jim) Aderholdt of Aderholdt Mill. The mother of eight children, she was a hard-working wife who lived in the family’s log home. Beecham will tell the story of a Federal soldier who broke into their home during the Civil War.
Mary Ramagnano Burton, the daughter of businessman John Ramagnano, is represented by Mercy Pilkington. Ramagnano acquired the building on the southwest corner of the downtown square in 1875. His business was downstairs and an opera house was upstairs.
CAST’s ‘Young Frankenstein’ today at OPAC
There will be the monster, the laboratory, the mad scientist and jokes from the movie — plus music — in CAST’s production of “Young Frankenstein” today at 2:30 p.m. at the Oxford Performing Arts Center.
Young Frankenstein, played by Dylan Hurst, creates a monster in this musical.
“It is hilarious and the music is great,” said director Mike Stedham.
Rated PG-13, the musical also features actors Fred Lawton, Josh Weaver, Hannah Culpepper, Jennie Wall and Juli Christensen.
Musical directors are Tony Ivey and Jennie Wall; choreographers are Bryan Rothwell and Alli Hartley.
Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students. To make reservations, call 256-241-3322.
Hervey Folsom writes about the local arts scene every Sunday. Contact her at email@example.com.