History comes to life at Sugar Grove Cemetery


WILMINGTON — On Saturday, history came to life at the historic Sugar Grove Cemetery during the much-anticipated “Talking Tombstones” event.

Located in the heart of Clinton County, this live historic cemetery tour offered an enchanting opportunity for visitors to delve into the rich history that rests beneath the tombstones.

Tours unfolded every 30 minutes, allowing eager guests to explore the hallowed grounds while absorbing the captivating tales of Clinton County’s past.

Shelby Boatman, director of the Clinton County Historical Society, spoke about the event’s purpose: “’Talking Tombstones’ was born out of a desire to share the importance of Clinton County’s history and genealogy outside the four walls of our museum. The event would not be possible without our community partners, volunteers, or the help of outstanding costume manager Linda Rinehart.”

This year’s rendition of “Talking Tombstones” saw approximately 120 guests, with many partaking in this unique experience for the first time.

Boatman went on to extend her gratitude to the dedicated individuals who made the event possible.

“I want to thank Kirby Keltner and his crew for all their hard work in cleaning headstones and preparing the grounds for our event,” she said. The meticulous preservation of these historic resting places was crucial in bringing the past to life.

Furthermore, “Talking Tombstones” 2023 aimed to spotlight diverse stories from Clinton County’s annals. Notably, the event showcased the life histories of both the community’s first Black doctor and a famous Black jazz pianist from the region. The significance of these individuals was brought to life through the remarkable portrayals by Shaw Arrington and George Byrd during the tour.

In closing, Boatman emphasized the enduring importance of preserving history for future generations. “I think it’s important to remember that history is all around us — in buildings, stories, photographs, and even cemeteries — and it’s so vitally important that we continue to preserve this history for future generations.”

To learn more about how you can support the Clinton County History Center and stay updated on its upcoming events, visit www.ClintonCountyHistory.org or follow it on social media at ClintonCountyHistory.

No posts to display