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Historical Society’s annual candlelight cemetery tour to coincide with Old Timers Day

Posted on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 12:15 pm

File photo by John Coffelt --The Manchester City Cemetery will once again be the setting of The Coffee County Historical Society’s Ghosts of History Tours.

The Coffee County Historical Society will hold Ghosts of History Tours from 5:30-8 p.m. on Old Timers Day, Oct. 6, at the Manchester City Cemetery. The tours, running every 15 minutes will feature some of the notable historical figures interred in the cemetery.

“It will be a candle light tour once again,” said Joanna Lewis, Historical Society vice president. “The walkways will be laid out with candles.”

Members of the Coffee County Central High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps will lead the tours. Society president Evans Baird will be the master of ceremony, providing information about the history of the cemetery.

The “ghosts” will be dressed in period costumes from their era. The actors are from the Manchester Arts Council and the Historical Society.

Notable figures include Joe Frank Patch, portrayed by Warren Gore, who lived in Manchester until his death in 1992. Patch was a CHS principal. Lewis will play Mary Vannoy Dalhlgren (1840-1928), the wife of a Civil War general who moved to Manchester after her husband died. Jeff Haley will portray Forrest Womack, the proprietor of the old Forrest Hotel, formerly located behind what is now the Manchester Arts Center.

Womack was a city judge and recorder and served on the selective service board. He was laid to rest at the City Cemetery in 1953.

John P. Adams, an early retailer in Manchester, will be played by Jess Lewis.

Adams opened a cash-and-carry mercantile in the Henley building.

“He decided he would give no credit,” said Joanne Lewis. “As it turned out he was a smart man because he could sell for less that what the credit people were selling for.

Adams was also a president of Peoples Bank and Trust.

Tours will be $5 for adults, $3 for school-age children and free for preschoolers. Proceeds from the event will help fund the Historical Society.

For more information, contact the Coffee County Historical Society at 728-0145 or