ATHENS AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Tombstone Tour 2013
The 5th annual Tombstone Tour was conducted on Saturday 28, September, 2013. This year the tour covered many incredible stories of people, places and events which changed the Athens community forever such as the three (3) different fires which hit downtown. As usual citizens from the local area played roles depicting people from the past.
Cheryl Burlingame as Bessie Martin-Bessie - she was well known for her giving spirit to those less fortunate by becoming a Foster Grandparent in Calhoun County. At age 87 Bessie was named Citizen of the Michigan Offices of Services to the Aging. She lived to the ripe age of 94.
Keith Swank as JasonThayer, the bartender at Sarah Taylor's hotel. The 1900 Athens fire started in the hotel after Mr. Thayer lit a fire in the fire place. The hotel was destroyed.
Logan Hanson as Mary Austin Adelia Wallace-Mary was born in 1838 in New York state.Through her journeys, she married Robert Bruce Wallace in 1859 and moved to the Athens area. She maintained a daily dairy which was published as "The Civil War Diaries" and can be found at the local library in Athens. She was known for her unique hand made quilts.
Jerry Inman as his great uncle Orval Inman- Orval enlisted in 1918 to serve his country in WWI. Tragically he was the first Athenian to die of his involvement in the war, not by war wounds but by the influenza epidemic.
Ilene Milbourne as Effie Ruth Reed- she and her husband operated the Michigan Veneer Company, known as the "Basket Factory". In the 1940s it was the largest employer in the area. The factory went out of business in 1956 after a fire.
Marty Minier-as W. A. Wolfe- He was of the Athens Busines Association & President of the School Board. He donated a wood church for use as a gym by the school and had it
placed on logs and rolled it down the street and put in place.