NORTH WEBSTER – Stories from the past, as told by re-enactors during the 10th Annual North Webster Cemetery Walk on Sunday, gave visitors a connection to area history.
The annual walk began as a way to highlight a transcription of a book compiled through the North Webster Local History and Genealogy Center within the North Webster Library.
Beth Smith, director of the center, said the event attracts over 250 visitors each year.
This year the event was approved by the state of Indiana as a legacy project for the state bicentennial.
Visitors walked through the cemetery as the re-enactors told the stories of those they were portraying as if they were alive today. The dialogue recited by the re-enactors came from various authors who submitted essays in March.
Victor LaBarbera played the part of David Mock, who died in 1906. Mock operated a sawmill and threshing machine. Although Mock had handcarved his own coffin out of black walnut, he was not buried in it.
The part of Carolina Huffman was portrayed by Janette Stackhouse. The headstone in the cemetery was crafted by her second husband from cement, making it impossible to repair.
The history of Abner and Charlotte Gerard was told by Clayton and Pam Kohler. Abner served in the War of 1812. Some 20 years after the war, they moved to the area that would become North Webster. Although the headstone of Abner was recovered, Charlotte’s was not.
John Lincoln Scott was credited for a patent of a roller bearing used in the wheels of farm equipment. Scott’s achievements were told by Gary Earhart.
Todd Lucas and Katie Anders portrayed the lives of Lester and Elsa Wayland. Lester was an inspector for the Pennsylvania Railroad and Elsa worked in a toy factory and as a typist.
Morton and Tressie Schwinn, portrayed by Forest Boesenberg and Lori Hickman, moved to North Webster in 1930. They opened a restaurant, Twister, named because Morton had sustained an injury in World War I leaving his leg twisted.
Garet Becker told the life story of Frank Kruger. Kruger once owned North Webster Ice Cream and Bottling Co. as well as a grocery store.
Ruth Hamman, portrayed by Tara Smith, married and settled in North Webster. She spoke of the love of cooking for visiting family.
Matt and Mariah Roberts told tales of Matt’s own family history as they portrayed Bernard and Alvelda Roberts. Land has been handed down through the generations from the first Roberts settlers.
Entertainment for the event included folk singer Dan Kuhn and bagpiper music of Rachel Eyermann.
Beth Smith said that a video of the enactors sharing the stories of the past will be available in approximately a month at www.nweb.lib.in.us.
Staff Report by Carol Anders, Times-Union