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Cemetery tours, Lew Wallace visit in HPS weekend plans

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Heritage Preservation Society of Putnam County has announced four events scheduled in Greencastle on the weekend of Oct. 22-23.

Saturday evening at 6 p.m., Larry Tippin, local historian and expert in the restoration of grave markers, will open the tour of Old Greencastle (aka Blackstock) and Boone-Hutcheson cemeteries.

Tippin has been busy in recent months with restoration efforts at Blackstock Cemetery, located on Hanna Street west of South Jackson Street.

By car caravan, the tours will then continue to historic Boone-Hutcheson Cemetery with the expectation of seeing Pearl Bryan along the way. This picturesque cemetery, atop a peaceful hill overlooking the Houck Covered Bridge, is the final resting place for some of Daniel Boone's family.

Returning from the cemetery to the First Christian Church, 110 S. Indiana St., participants may continue on a second walking tour of the courthouse square, leaving from the church at 8:30 p.m. Lifelong Putnam County resident David English will guide participants on a downtown tour, a nostalgic trip down memory lane filled with history and folklore.

Refreshments will be available at the church for participants on both tours. Tickets for the two portions of the evenings' offerings may be purchased separately or in combination. Tickets may be paid for at the starting point of the tour within a half-hour preceding the beginning of the tour.

On Sunday, Oct. 23, from 1-4 p.m., an enhanced visit to Forest Hill Cemetery is scheduled.

A prominent Civil War Soldiers Monument reigns from the cemetery promontory as a memorial to the Putnam County Soldiers who fought in the epic War Between the States.

A crowd of 8,000 reportedly gathered for the dedication of the monument on July 2, 1870. At that time Greencastle was home to less than 3,300. Many dignitaries helped to dedicate the monument, including Indiana's own Civil War General Lew Wallace.

Beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday at the monument, Bernie O'Bryan, renowned Wallace impersonator, will be present to give expression to Wallace's thoughts as he returns to the monument that he once helped to dedicate.

Ken Anderson of the Civil War Roundtable will present the history of the monument and the lives of three Putnam County soldiers, Pvt. James H. McGill, Sgt. Lycurgus Stoner and Lt. Lloyd T. Duncan.

Information about the cemetery and special assets and burials behind its gates will be available for a self-guided tour the of the cemetery grounds. Refreshments will be served by HPS members. Pre-registrations are accepted. Tickets will be available for purchase throughout the afternoon.

Proceeds from ticket sales support the ongoing efforts of the Heritage Preservation Society of Putnam County.

Acknowledging the opening year of the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War, the HPS, the Putnam County Library and the Civil War Roundtable have planned an additional free program, "An Afternoon with Civil War General and Author Lew Wallace."

The program will be held at the library at 2 p.m. Saturday. Wallace, was born in Brookville, grew up in Covington and constructed his study in Crawfordsville.

In adulthood, Wallace served as the governor of Territorial New Mexico and as ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. Perhaps most well known as the author of "Ben Hur," Wallace was also artistically talented. He was an accomplished painter and sculptor as well as a musician.

O'Bryan adeptly brings Wallace to life again, sharing his involvement in the Civil War, and offering his audience a chance to take a step back in time. These words of Wallace himself will be made clear: "I do not believe men are born to anything -- art, poetry, oratory, the counting of money -- mastery comes only by long study and practice."

Costs of the tour events are: Cemetery tours, $10, walking tour, $5; combination ticket, $13, Forest Hill event, $10. Family of three or more: Cemetery tours, $25; walking tours $13; combination $35, Forest Hill event, $25.

For reservations and additional information, persons may call 522-1430, 653-4513 or putnamheritage@gmail.com or putnamheritage@gmail.com. Tickets payable by cash or check only.

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