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  • TOMBSTONE TALES

    Carved in marble

    Ashland's history comes alive at the cemetery
  • The history of Ashland is right before your eyes at the old cemetery on East Main and Morton streets.
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    • If you go
      What: Tombstone Tales 2013, living history tours in the Ashland Cemetery
      When: 4 to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, June 29-30 and July 6-7
      Where: Ashland Cemetery, 750 E. Main St.
      Tickets: ...
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      If you go
      What: Tombstone Tales 2013, living history tours in the Ashland Cemetery

      When: 4 to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, June 29-30 and July 6-7

      Where: Ashland Cemetery, 750 E. Main St.

      Tickets: $10 for adults, $5 for children, at the Ashland History and Railroad Museum, 258 A St., Suite 11, or at start of tour. Tours leave every 15 minutes and last one hour

      For more information: Contact Victoria Law at 541-261-6605 or director@ashlandrrmuseum.org
  • The history of Ashland is right before your eyes at the old cemetery on East Main and Morton streets.
    Year-round, visitors stop to read inscriptions on the carved headstones, some dating back to pre-Civil War times.
    Genealogists come by, too, to piece together the past.
    And on weekends through July 7, a stream of people will walk under the native oak trees, led by costumed actors portraying the life and times of some of the city's memorable characters.
    A simple, flat headstone indicates the resting place of Lindsay Applegate (1808-1892), who created the advantageous Applegate Trail.
    A few feet away is wife Elizabeth's grave, which is marked by a towering, cast-iron monument bedecked in ornamental garlands.
    "Ashland's most important early settlers are buried here," says Victoria Law, director of the Ashland History and Railroad Museum and organizer of the annual Tombstone Tales tour.
    In an hour, tourgoers will learn about 16 people who influenced Ashland, from Capt. Thomas Smith, a pioneer who befriended the Shasta Indians, to Black Bart, a gentleman highwayman who robbed stagecoaches but never stooped to stealing jewelry from women.
    Clayton Gordon of Ashland will don a long, black coat to play William Powell, a cider seller who was called the "most well-known man in Ashland" in his 1913 obituary.
    Patty Duggan, holding a Morse code key, will speak as Emma Howard James, the city's postmistress and a telegraph operator for Wells Fargo in the 1890s.
    And Will Lowry, 10, and brother Steven Lowry, 13, will pretend to be the Bad Boys of 1899, who were notorious for being too pushy selling fruit at the Southern Pacific Railroad depot.
    "A lot of these young men grew up to be leading members of the Ashland community," says Law. "By telling the stories of Ashland's ancestors, we feel we give the community a better understanding of the people who helped make our town the place we love today." She stages the tour here because of its significance to the past.
    Like the city's other cemeteries — Hargadine and Mountain View — the Ashland Cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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