Evergreen Cemetery Walk
Over the course of the past two years, the Evergreen Cemetery Walk has been forced to navigate some major challenges, including being forced to go fully remote in 2020, and then last year, reducing capacity through a hybrid format due to the continued COVID 19 pandemic. But the Museum and our partners, Evergreen Memorial Cemetery and Illinois Voices Theatre Echoes, met those challenges head on and none of that ever stopped the Walk from happening. In fact, these challenges forced organizers to enhance the event to continue to meet the needs of new audiences who had not been able to experience the Walk before due to barriers such as geography and mobility.
Because of all of this, the Evergreen Cemetery Walk is back and better than ever before for another monumental year, and we are pleased to announce a continued commitment to providing a live in-person Walk in conjunction with a pre-recorded online offering thanks to our partner Broadleaf Video Management.
This year’s Walk will feature five new voices and bringing back two well-known names to share a new story. Our featured characters are: Helen Clark McCurdy (1866-1962), the first woman to run for elected office in Bloomington municipal government and one of 10 candidates to make it onto the ballot for commissioner in 1915; James Preston Butler (1838-1918), best known for his work as a detective in high profile murder cases, he tracked murders across the state to bring them back for justice; Alexander G. Erickson (1863-1950), of Swedish heritage, spent much of his life living and working on Bloomington’s West Side as a businessman and politician; Ella Lee Stokes (1912-1996), a Black woman born in Mississippi, she came to Bloomington as a young girl and worked jobs largely in the service industry, including Williams-Oil-O-Matic during World War II and as a housekeeper in Bloomington’s “Red Light District;” Paul F. Beich (1864-1937), a guest voice from Park Hill Cemetery in Bloomington, Beich was a German immigrant who worked in the candy-making business. After convincing Milton Hershey to move his caramel-making division to Bloomington from Chicago, Beich’s Candy Company became known for its “Whiz Bar, the best nickel candy there iz-z!” And finally, Sarah (1814-1879) and David Davis (1815-1886) who spent much of their married life states apart while David worked away from home as a lawyer, judge, and statesman. The Davises maintained their loving relationship through letters, while Sarah managed the affairs of their estate and construction of their new home in Bloomington–which celebrates its 150th Anniversary this year!
The 2022 Evergreen Cemetery Walk will be held in-person on September 24-25 and October 1-2 with performances at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. each day. Ticket sales will begin on Tuesday, August 30 and can be purchased by visiting the Museum’s website, the Museum’s Cruisin’ with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center and Gift Shop or Evergreen Memorial Cemetery. Individual tickets to participate in the in-person event will be $20 for the General Public, $18 for Museum Members, and $8 for Children or Students w/ ID.
If you have any questions or need special accommodations, please contact the Education Department at 309-827-0428, via email at email@example.com, or visit the Evergreen Cemetery Walk page on the Museum’s website at mchistory.org/learn/evergreen-cemetery-walk.