Over the course of the past two years, the Evergreen Cemetery Walk has been forced to navigate some major challenges, including being forced to go fully remote in 2020, and then last year, reducing capacity through a hybrid format due to the continued COVID 19 pandemic. But we met those challenges head on and none of that ever stopped the Walk from happening. In fact, these challenges forced organizers to enhance the event to continue to meet the needs of new audiences who had not been able to experience the Walk before due to barriers such as geography and mobility.
Because of all of this, the Evergreen Cemetery Walk has become bigger and better than ever before, and we are pleased to continue to be able to once again offer this event fully in-person on the beautiful and historic grounds of Evergreen Memorial Cemetery, and online through video format (thanks to our new partner Broadleaf Video Management).
The Museum is also pleased to announce our sponsors for the 2022 Walk. Without them, we could not support over 2,000 students and chaperones, and older adults living in senior care facilities to be able to participate in the Walk free of charge (whether in-person or online)! Thank you to the following: Featured Sponsors: Evergreen Memorial Cemetery, Illinois Prairie Community Foundation, Cumulus Radio Bloomington, and Pantagraph Media; Premium Sponsors: CEFCU, Heartland Bank & Trust, WGLT, Illinois Farm Bureau, MCK CPAs & Advisors, Deanna Frautschi & Alan Bedell, and the Bloomington-Normal Convention & Visitors Bureau; Basic Sponsors: McLean County Chamber of Commerce, Dunbar, Breitweiser, & Company, LLP, and The Painted Wraith Curiosity Shoppe, LLC. Without support for our sponsors and the community, we would not be able to fulfill the primary mission of this event—to educate local students on the historic significance of cemeteries.
The 2022 Evergreen Cemetery Walk will be held in-person on September 24–25 and October 1–2 with performances at 11am and 2pm each day. Tickets are on sale NOW and can be purchased by visiting the Museum’s website www.mchistory.org, at Evergreen Memorial Cemetery, or the Museum’s Cruisin’ with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center and Gift Shop. Individual tickets to participate in the in-person event will be $20 for the General Public, $18 for Museum members, and $8 for children or students w/ID. Tickets purchased to participate in the Walk will help support over 2,000 students, chaperones, and older adults living in senior care facilities to be able to participate in the Walk free of charge! We are not exaggerating when we say that we could not do any of this without you—our members—and your unwavering support.
This year’s Walk will feature five new voices and bring back two voices to share a new story.
This year’s feature characters are: Helen Clark McCurdy (1866–1962), was the first woman to run for elected office in Bloomington municipal government, one of ten candidates to make it onto the ballot for commissioner in 1915; James Preston Butler (1838–1918), best known for his work as a detective in high profile murder cases, he tracked murders across the state to bring them back for justice; Alexander G. Erickson (1863–1950), of Swedish heritage, spent much of his life living and working on Bloomington’s West Side as a businessman and politician; Ella Lee Stokes (1912–1996), a Black woman who was born in the South, she came to Bloomington as a young girl and worked jobs largely in the service industry, including Williams-Oil-O-Matic during World War II and as a housekeeper in Bloomington’s “Red Light District;” Paul F. Beich (1864–1937), is our guest voice on this year’s Walk. Beich was a German immigrant who purchased a company in Bloomington that became the Beich Candy Company, famous for the “Whiz Bar, the best nickel candy there iz-z!” And finally, Sarah (1814–1879) and David Davis (1815–1886) who spent much of their married life apart while David often worked away from home as a lawyer, judge, and statesman They maintained their loving relationship through letters, while Sarah managed the affairs at home (weekends only).
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