Columbia’s historic Elmwood Cemetery (circa 1854) has centuries of stories etched in stone on the markers and headstones found within its acres of carefully planned grounds. Historic Columbia Foundation’s annual guided tours of Elmwood Cemetery come to an end on Thursday, September 13. The last tour options include a “Secrets from the Grave” Iconography Tour at 7:30 pm or Moonlight Cemetery Tour led by a costumed guide at 8:30 pm. The famously hot tour is selling out fast and few spots remain.
Historic Columbia Foundation will offer special cemetery tours from 6 – 8:30 pm on Thursday, October 11 during their annual Historic Hauntings program. Different than the regular monthly tours, this event includes multiple costumed guides stationed around Elmwood Cemetery for tours, children’s crafts, light snacks and other Halloween related activities. Tickets can be purchased online at http://cemeterytours.eventbrite.com/.
The “Secrets from the Grave” tour starts before dark to allow attendees to study the iconography symbols found on so many of the markers and headstones in the cemetery. The Moonlight Cemetery Tours include narrative about the lives, burials, cemetery plots, and tombstones of families and prominent citizens from Columbia’s 19th and 20th centuries. The tour will lead through portions of the site featuring the Victorian era and several variations of cemetery art.
The cost for tours is $5 for Foundation member adults, $3 for Foundation member youth, $10 general admission adults and $5 general admission children. The capacity for each tour is 25 people and reservations are strongly recommended with walk-up registration available (subject to availability). HCF is offering online registration/ticket sales at http://cemeterytours.eventbrite.com/.
Notables interred in Elmwood Cemetery include: Milledge Luke Bonham (1813-1890) who fought in both the Seminole uprising in 1836 and the Mexican War, was a member of the SC House of Representatives 1840-1857, and was a Brigadier General, CSA, during the Civil War. Maxcy Gregg (1814-1862) fought in the Mexican War and was commissioned as Brigadier General, CSA in December 1861 and died from mortal wounds suffered at Fredericksburg, VA on December 13 the following year.
High resolution photos are posted on the Foundation’s Flickr account for immediate download. Direct link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/historiccolumbiafoundation/sets/72157629169850762/ (click on desired photo thumbnail, right-click to select “large” photo size, then click “download large size of this photo”). Members of the media are encouraged to contact Ashley Tucker at 803.252.7742 ext 16 or email@example.com for more information.
About this year’s tours, Sarah Blackwell, Director of Programs, says, “We invite you to come explore historic Elmwood Cemetery, where stories of valor, love lost and lives cut short are etched in stone.”
About Historic Columbia Foundation:
In November 1961, a small group of individuals intent on saving the Ainsley Hall House from demolition, officially incorporated as the Historic Columbia Foundation. Over the next five decades the organization, which was founded on the premise of preservation and education, would take on the stewardship of seven historic properties in Richland County. Today, the organization serves as a model for local preservation efforts and interpretation of local history. The 50th Anniversary year of Historic Columbia Foundation (which officially began on November 13, 2011) will include a variety of community celebratory events. Visit http://www.historiccolumbia.org for details.