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Volunteers announced for Tales of Crypt portrayals

Volunteer actors for the six portrayals have been announced for the eighth annual Tales of the Crypt scheduled this weekend at Fairview Cemetery in Van Buren.

For the third year, the event will include a twilight version under the glow of Victorian street lights from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday. Tales will be repeated Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m.

Students from Tom Wing’s historical interpretation program at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith will portray six historical figures buried at Fairview Cemetery, which was established in 1837 when John Drennen donated 10 acres to establish the cemetery.

The actors are:

• Lauren Bowell, who will portray Anna Wallace, 1909-89, educator and principal of King Elementary School in Van Buren.

• Grace Devero, who will play Pauline Sadler Faber, 1887-1971, school teacher in Van Buren.

• Felisica Wright, who will bring to life Emilie Sargent Pernot, 1829-1904, wife of Dr. Henri Pernot and descendant of Josiah Bartlett, signer of the declaration.

• Dillon Wilbourn, who will portray Dunham Scott, 1885-1941, World War I veteran and son of Phillip D. Scott and Fannie Dunham Scott.

• Jerry Wing, who will play Judge Jonathan B. Ogden, 1812-89, federal judge for the Western District of Arkansas and the Indian Territory.

• Stephen Christian, who will portray Sheriff Joseph Houck, 1829-84, sheriff of Crawford County and veteran of the War Between the States and the Mexican American War. He was slain in the line of duty.

All the portrayals are buried at Fairview Cemetery, which has been used as a burial ground dating back to 1816. Some of the monuments are more than 160 years old.

Proceeds from Tales of the Crypt are used for preservation of historic monuments in the cemetery.

Tales of the Crypt organizer Randy Smith said 2,060 of the 2,900 burials at Fairview Cemetery are historical. He also pointed out there are 1,300 sites available at the cemetery, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places June 1, 2005.

Tales of the Crypt is sponsored in part by the City of Van Buren, the Van Buren Historic District Commission and the Van Buren Advertising and Promotion Commission.

Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for children. Entry to the cemetery will be on the McKibben Street gate with only handicapped parking permitted inside the cemetery. All other parking will be on the McKibben Street side. A shuttle will run from Butterfield Trail Middle School on North 11th Street.

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