On October 18, the Eaton County Historical Commission will be presenting its 11th annual Maple Hill Cemetery tour. This is a historic walking tour through the cemetery, with stops at various gravesites where costumed presenters will present the stories of Maple Hill inhabitants. There are tours at 2p.m. and 4p.m. Masks must be worn inside and wherever social distancing isn’t possible.
The Eaton County Historical Commission does fundraisers like this to fund grants for the preservation of historical documents and artifacts of Eaton County to local non-profit groups. In addition to the tours, the group has written books about the history of the County to raise funds. Works include “The Rural Schools of Eaton County,” “Spirits of the Past,” and “Right on Track.”
This year the tour will feature former sextons of the cemetery along with other area notables. The tour will visit the gravesites of Tully Brown (Maple Hill’s longest-working sexton), Roy and Virginia Lea, Ricky Hinken, and Bob and Phyllis Munger. Also featured will be Barbara Brandon, whose family donated a sound system that will greatly enhance the tour.
In addition to presenting grants, the Historical Commission also awards an annual Heritage Award. This year Richard (Bear) and Sandy Hennings were recognized by the Commission for their 50 years of preserving and sharing history, with a focus on the Lewis and Clark expedition. The Hennings started the Living History Camp as part of Frontier Days in Charlotte. As reenactors, they have traveled throughout the Midwest telling the story of the Lewis and Clark expedition.
Also recognized with Heritage Awards by the Commission were Mary Critchlow (Critchlow was involved with the Mastodon bones in Bellevue) and John Dexter (Dexter is president of the Bellevue Historical Society and is responsible for the primary care and maintenance of the museum), both from Bellevue Historical Society.
The Eaton County Conservation District was selected to receive a grant from the Commission to digitize, preserve and document their 75 years of existence.
Throughout the month of October, there will be a historic Halloween display inside the Courthouse Square Museum at 100 West Lawrence Avenue. There will not, however, be the annual Halloween Courthouse event at the museum due to the Covid-19 situation.
For more information about the Eaton County Historical Commission or Courthouse Square Museum, call (517) 543-6999.