Ghosts in the graveyard
Dead people actually do tell tales.
Head up to Red Cliff on Saturday, Aug. 18, for the Eagle County Historical Society’s Greenwood Cemetery tour. Actors and actresses will portray some of Red Cliff’s earliest pioneers, sharing stories of life in this early-day mining camp.
Meet a member of a mining families, hear tragic stories and learn how a Red Cliff housewife became the first female judge in Colorado. Meet a woman who worked the mining camp’s red light district.
‘Teeming with local history’
“Red Cliff is teeming with local history. It was the first town established in Eagle County in 1879. It was a rough-and-tumble mining camp. The saloons and dance halls outnumbered the churches,” said Historical Society President Kathy Heicher. “Literally every grave in that cemetery has a story.”
The last Red Cliff cemetery tour took place in 2009. It was an inaugural event for the Historical Society, and the first time that actors were enlisted to tell the stories. Over 250 people turned out for the event.
Historical Society members research noteworthy pioneers to be featured on the tours by combing through the archives located at the Eagle Public Library. The actors use the research materials to create their dialogues. Most of the featured characters have dramatic stories that offer an accurate portrayal of the challenges of living in the county’s early days.
This year’s tour will feature some special storytellers. A descendant of the Nottingham family, who were among the county’s most prominent pioneers, will share stories of their accomplishments and their sometimes-notorious behavior.
Author Rich Perske, who wrote a book about the Fulford mining camp, will share his knowledge about the tragic life of Red Cliff miner and Town Marshall Arthur Fulford.
Tours depart every 20 minutes, and will last about 90 minutes. Van transportation to the cemetery entrance will be provided, or participants may choose to walk up the hill to the cemetery.
The Historical Society will also be offering local history books for sale. Questions about the tour can be directed to 970-827-5303.