By: Renea Kessler
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
The Bean Creek Valley History Center in Fayette held their seventh annual cemetery lantern tour on Thursday, September 21st.
The tour took place at the Pleasant View Union Cemetery at 6:30 p.m. The cemetery began as a family burial ground and was expanded to the local area in 1852.
The first burial at the cemetery is believed to have taken place in as early as 1836. During the lantern tour, visitors are walked through the cemetery where they visited five different graves. This year there were also three extra stories told as well.
At each of the five graves stood an actor who was there to portray the person at which grave they were visiting.
These people were dressed in the kind of attire the people were known to have worn and spoke to everyone through the eyes of the person who was once alive.
Bill Senecal portrayed Daniel VanBuskirk who was born February 28th, 1825. VanBuskirk was Fayette’s first mayor in 1874.
He was a farmer and a teacher who never had an education passed the 6th grade. Daniel was known for his liberal attitude and passed away in 1906.
Jeff Canfield portrayed his Great-Great Grandpa Heman Canfield who was born in 1816 and had five siblings.
Heman built a cabin in Chesterfield township where over the course of 20 years had a family of six in this one room cabin.
That cabin now resides at the Fulton County Fairgrounds today. Canfield was a Groham Township Trustee and from 1871 to 1874 he was a Fulton County Commissioner.
Jeff Martin portrayed Renesselaer S. Humphrey, also known as R.S. Humphrey. Humphrey was born July 29, 1821. He was named after the county he was born in over in New York.
Mr. Humphrey became known as the Father of Fayette. In 1845, he built the first road and cleared the land and in 1851 he owned and operated the first Mill. R.S. Humphrey died in 1885 at his daughter’s house.
Sue Gruber portrayed her Great-Great Grandma Cornelia Humphrey. Cornelia was born April 5, 1829, and had nine siblings. She was the wife of Renesselaer S. Humphrey, and they had 13 children together over the course of 27 years.
Richard Ferris portrayed John Gamber who was born February 12, 1819. He was a carpenter in New York before purchasing farmland in Gorham Township. Gamber was also treasurer of the village, trustee, and school for some time. He passed away in 1916.
Cookie Ferguson and Diane Repp helped in the telling of the three extra stories that took place this year.
The first story told was that of the schoolhouse built for elementary age kids before the cemetery was there.
The second story told was that of a Mrs. Cottrell who was dug up and moved due to the railroad coming through the land where her original resting place was.
The third story told was that of the 100th birthday party of Permelia DuBois that was held at the Fayette Opera House.
Permelia was born to a family of 10 children and lived to be 101 years old. In 1906 the beautiful stain glass window in the Methodist Church was dedicated to her.
Renea can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org