Cemetery tours bringing history to life in Rock County
JANESVILLE, Wis. (WMTV) -An opportunity at one Rock County cemetery is giving a glimpse into the lives of residents from the past who impacted the community.
The Rock County Historical Society is bringing history to life the last two weekends in October, providing new tours of the Oak Hill Cemetery in Janesville.
Historical interpreters will be sharing the stories of eight former Janesville residents researched by local history expert Pete Skelly.
“I’ve always felt that you have to know the stories of the people here to know who you are,” started Skelly. “It helped make us who we are and if you lose track of those stories, you kind of lose some of your own identity.”
In prior years the cemetery tours have focused on area folks who have been commemorated with landmarks, but this year brings the stories of those who RCHS says “should have been commemorated” with buildings and roads named after them.
Skelly says this is not a haunted experience, the tours are educational in nature. “They aren’t scary stories, we aren’t going to scare people here, we’re here to just tell them about important people that may have affected them in maybe a little way, maybe in a great way, because it helped affect making Janesville what it is today.”
For the Chill at Oak Hill tours organizers ask the grounds be treated with respect when visiting, as Oak Hill is a working cemetery.
This year’s tour dates are set for Oct. 22 and Cct. 29 from noon – 4 p.m. All tours are outdoors and begin at Oak Hill Chapel.
Tour tickets are $10 and can be purchased on RCHS’s website, at the cemetery during tour hours, by calling 608-756-4509, or at the historical society’s gift shop.
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