Oakland Cemetery to come alive
By John Andrew Prime • email@example.com
October 19, 2008 2:00 am
New life will come to Shreveport's oldest landmark, historic Oakland Cemetery, on All Saints Sunday.
Thanks to the efforts of more than a dozen costumed volunteers and the Oakland Cemetery Preservation Society, Oakland's more historic residents, or those who died after leading colorful or significant lives, will come alive again in a historic tour from 1-4 p.m. Nov. 2.
"This is a wonderful way for people to relate to the history of Shreveport," said Gary Joiner, local military author, historian and cartographer, who is a member of the board of the cemetery group and who has been mapping and researching the cemetery with his students from LSU-Shreveport. Calling Oakland "a history laboratory," he says "We still have much to learn about Shreveport's history."
People portraying the historic deceased are LSUS students and community volunteers.
In addition to the ghoulies, Dr. ElizaBeth Guin, history professor at Northwestern State University, will demonstrate monument preservation techniques.
Residents who will stand by their graves and the people portraying them are:
Amanda Arnett Clark, 19th century Shreveport humanitarian, will be portrayed by LSUS graduate Dana Fergins.
Dr. Dickinson Smith, son of Amanda Clark, first black member of the local medical society, by LSUS student John McClain.
Col. Leon Dawson Marks, attorney, newspaper publisher and officer in the Confederate 27th La. Infantry, by David Hill of the Lt. Gen. Richard Taylor Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Mary Bennett Cane, called the "mother of Shreveport" and "grandmother of Bossier City," by LSUS student Leigh Tomb Messenger, president of the university's History Club.
Annie McCune, Shreveport prostitute and civic benefactor, by LSUS student Cassie Barrois.
Lt. Eugene Augustus Woodruff, U.S. Army engineering officer and hero/victim of the great 1873 yellow fever epidemic, by Kevin Adkins of the Lt. Gen. Richard Taylor Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Simon Levy Jr., banker, businessman, vice-president of Kansas City Southern Railroad and Confederate officer, by Scott Summers of the Lt. Gen. Richard Taylor Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Lawrence Pike Crain, attorney and former mayor of Shreveport, by LSUS student Eric Hammons.
John Morgan Landrum, early mayor of Shreveport and former U.S. congressman, by LSUS student Earl Moses.
Dr. Joseph Hotchkiss, Confederate captain and engineer on the staff of local Confederate commander Lt. Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith, by John McGibboney of the Lt. Gen. Richard Taylor Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Rufus Sewall, brother of first mayor of Shreveport, by LSUS student Marty Loschen.
Nathan Goldkind, a local merchant who met an untimely death, by LSUS graduate Marty Young, director of the Pioneer Heritage Center at LSUS.
Amazon A. Cole Jacobs, wife of prominent merchant and banker Benjamin Jacobs, by LSUS student Jessica Sims.
1873 Yellow Fever Epidemic victims Kendra Cherie Gray, Margaret Chini and Patti Underwood, by LSUS graduate Susan Reeks, Caddo Middle Magnet student; Joshua Nabors and South Highlands Elementary School student Nicholas Nabors.
The ghostly residents will talk about their lives, how the city was at the time they lived and how they wound up in the cemetery. Hines Vaughan, president of the cemetery society, will be joined by his board members to talk about the cemetery's restoration and preservation.
Admission will be by donation, with the society suggesting $10 for adults and $1 for children, with proceeds benefitting the society's preservation efforts.
Oakland cemetery is on Milam Street at the intersection of Elvis Presley Avenue by the Municipal Auditorium.
Free parking will be provided in the lot east of the cemetery.