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Glenwood Cemetery Tour Returns, With Tales Of Old Park City

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The Glenwood Cemetery Tour is yet another Park City tradition that didn’t happen last year.

But the tour is back this weekend, complete with actors in period costumes.    

The tour features historical re-enactors who will tell the stories of some of the 900 people who are buried in the Glenwood.

There are two tours scheduled for Saturday, September 18, accommodating 105 people each.   Diane Knispel, Director of Education at the Park City Museum, said the morning tour is sold out.    As of Wednesday, there were 40 slots left for the afternoon tour.

This year’s event is dedicated to the late Bruce Erickson, who was president of the Glenwood Association for many years, as well as being Park City’s Planning Director.

Knispel said this year’s theme is “The Founders of Glenwood: Park City’s Fraternal Orders and How They Helped in Times of Need.”      

“As everyone probably knows, mining is not an easy job.    And a lot of the miners got sick with ‘miner’s con.’   Some of the miners had accidents in the mines and things like that.   And they were trying to find a burial place for the miners that were here originally.   Because Park City was a silver-mining town for many decades.  And so it was a place that they could go and they could have their burials done.  The fraternal organizations offered some insurance for all the miners.  It was really a way of making sure that they had that insurance so that if something happened to them, their families were taken care of.”

She talked about some of the historic characters highlighted in the tour, including Roy Fletcher, the patriarch of a family that experienced Park City’s transition from mining to a ski town.       

“People may not have remembered Roy as much as they remembered Mel, because Mel was his son, involved in the skiing.  But Roy was a painter and he worked at the Egyptian Theatre for years.  So did his wife Blanche.  So that’s one of the families we’re gonna be talking about.  We have Ancil Johnson, who was a police officer, a cowboy, a cattle herder and many other jobs.  We have William Gibley, who was the sexton and the superintendent, the original superintendent of the Glenwood Cemetery.”

The tour features seven historic figures and eight volunteer re-enactors (since one is double-cast.)    Knispel said for the historic outfits, they rely on a member of the Glenwood board who has a costume collection.

Meanwhile, the association carries out its mission to maintain the cemetery.    Knispel said they have hired a company to restore the headstones at the Glenwood.      

“They look at each one, each and every one in a particular section, cause they usually work section by section.  And anything that needs to be looked at and restored, so that they’re not toppling, so that they’re not falling apart.  They will look at that and they will analyze what they have to do with it.  And then they will very carefully go in and make sure that headstone is gonna be preserved forever.”

Admission is $15 for the event, which is a fundraiser for the cemetery, and reservations are required.   You can go to the Park City Museum website for tickets and information.

The Glenwood is located at the end of Silver King Drive, near the intersection of Silver King and Three Kings Drive.

The tours are approved for ages 10 years and older; Knispel said some of the stories can be harsh, because people’s lives were harsh.  Dogs will not be allowed.

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