“Grave Matters” Cemetery Tour Caps Off Pumpkinfest

Adding to the excitement surrounding the 29th Annual Pumpkinfest and its fall festivities, “Grave Matters: Stories Behind the Stones” will be held Saturday, Oct. 27, 7-9 p.m. The once-a-year tour of the Old City and Rest Haven cemeteries will feature costumed actors portraying the most intriguing and historically important people buried there. Tickets are $15 for ages 14 and up, and $5 for children ages 7-13.

Produced by guided walking tour company Franklin on Foot and the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County, the event will wrap up the city’s largest free street festival.

“This is a special opportunity to engage in our city’s past, and I can’t think of a better time of year to host such a tour,” Franklin on Foot Owner Margie Thessin said.

Guests will hear about Franklin’s founder Ewen Cameron, as well as one of the original Tennessee volunteers Dr. Daniel McPhail and his nephew, Dr. Daniel Cliffe. They will also have the chance to visit the final resting place of Franklin’s Unknown Civil War soldier, whose remains were uncovered at a Franklin construction site in May of 2009 and re-interred at Rest Haven on Oct. 10, 2009.

Franklin wartime mayor John McEwen will speak of his experience, as will the two Georges – Grummond and Cuppett – who fought on opposite sides of the war, and are remembered for different reasons. And patrons won’t want to miss the grave of freedman Jessee Cowles and his wife, Anarchy, or the marker of the two infant Marr sisters, whose short, tragic lives are commemorated by a broken shaft.

Proceeds from the event will support local historic preservation efforts. Tickets are available for purchase at www.franklinonfoot.com or at the gate.

Guests should allow at least one hour and 15 minutes to complete the tour and plan to arrive between 6:45 p.m. Participants should wear closed-toe shoes and carry a flashlight.

The cemeteries are located at the corner of 4th Ave. North and North Margin Street. Call 615-400-3808 for information.