Cemetery tour resurrects voices from the past

OXFORD -- Voices from the past will be heard again, for one night only, at Oxford Historic Cemetery.

The Newton County Historical Society will bring citizens of days gone by back to life during its third annual Voices from the Past Cemetery Tour, slated for Thursday, Oct. 13.

Eight former residents of Oxford will be portrayed and will tell their life stories and give insight into what life was like in Oxford for previous generations.

Characters portrayed will include Dolly Burge Parks, owner of Burge Plantation during the Civil War; Augustus Wright, who helped found and was principal at Washington Street High School; and Edward Loyd Thomas, who surveyed the Georgia state line. Several characters will be portrayed by their descendants.

"We want people to know there are some awfully interesting characters that lived in this area prior to them and to give them a sense of what life was like in another time," said Sheryl Christian, chair of the Historical Society Cemetery Committee. "There are people who accomplished a lot of things that aren't necessarily famous but they were instrumental in development of this area in their day."

Tickets can be purchased for one of two sessions beginning at 5 p.m. or 6:45 p.m. Tickets are available at the Arts Association in Newton County, located at 1106 Washington St. The price is $10 for adults, $7 for high school and college students and $5 for children. Parking is available at the rear of the cemetery and on adjacent city streets. Golf carts are available for those unable to walk the route.

Guests should arrive 10 minutes prior to the start of the tour and those booked on the later tour may want to bring a flashlight, Christian said.

Proceeds will benefit the Newton County History Center, a museum to be located in the historic jail on Stallings Street.

A tour of the Historic Social Circle Cemetery will also take place this month. Sponsored by the Social Circle Theater, the tour will follow a similar format, introducing guests to the town's founding citizens.

The tour takes place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28 and Saturday, Oct. 29 at Rutherford House, located next to ACE Hardware. Admission is $5. To purchase tickets, call 770-464-2269.