Silent City voices speak in October

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Hear the stories of new "Voices from Eureka's Silent City" when cemetery tours take place Friday and Saturday, Oct. 14 and 15, and again Friday and Saturday, Oct. 28 and 29, hosted by the Eureka Springs Historical Museum.

The town cemetery holds hundreds of fascinating stories waiting to be told, according to Ginni Miller, director of the historical museum, who also noted the tours have been attended and enjoyed by more than a thousand people over the last two years.

Meant to entertain rather than scare, the "living history" tour features actors in period costumes portraying early citizens of Eureka Springs as they reminisce about their past. Some of the characters were pillars of the community, and some were figures whose colorful, outrageous or scandalous behavior helped shape the history and myths of the town.

The Eureka Springs region, famous in the late 1880s because of the numerous "healing" springs in the area, quickly became a Mecca for those seeking relief from their ailments. Almost overnight, the population exploded to more than 10,000, and like most boom towns, there was a stunning variety of personality types. Although the population has diminished, the eccentricity of the residents endured as a complex stew of passionate and unique individuals, creating a wealth of material for the Voices' cast.

Volunteers in period clothing host and lead the one-hour walking tour which offers five-minute stops with each "citizen." Tours start around 5:30 p.m. and leave every 20 minutes; the last one begins at 8 p.m. After dusk, guides with lanterns lead participants along paths softly illuminated with garden lights and torches.

A limited number of seats are available along the path and at speakers' locations. Light refreshments will be served after the last stop.

Tickets, $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 years old and under, may be purchased at Cornerstone Bank, Greater Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce, the Historical Museum and at the event. Free parking and shuttle service is available at the former Victorian Inn on U.S. Hwy. 62 East.

The tour is a fundraising project of the members of the Eureka Springs Historical Museum, with proceeds going to finance daily operations, special exhibits and ongoing restoration projects.

For more information, call the museum at (479) 253-9417 or email info@eurekaspringshistoricalmuseum.org.

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