Second Annual Cemetery Visit to Sturgis


STURGIS – A Historic Tour of Sturgis returns Sept. 10 and 24 at Oak Lawn Cemetery, where more than a dozen re-enactors will share the stories of former figures in the Sturgis community.

The second annual Oak Lawn Cemetery Walking Tour will include two groups of up to 20 people, with each tour departing every 30 minutes from 4-6 p.m. Each visit will last approximately one hour.

The inaugural event last year was hugely popular and both dates sold out, said museum director Jenifer Blouin Policelli.

This year, more tickets have been added to meet community interest.

This year’s theme is “Outliers” in the history of Sturgis, said Blouin Policelli, focusing on “people who lived outside the mainstream and outdid themselves in their careers or in the spirit of giving. “.

Barb Neff portrayed Mary Hackstaff, the town's first librarian of Sturgis, last year and is back as Aloysia

“It was fun to hear their stories,” she said.

Featured inhabitants of Sturgis past and their re-enactors:

  • Charles Spence, played by Ryan Davis.
  • Frank and Ellen “Nellie” Wait, played by Paul Rooyakkers and Tonya Purlee.
  • Helen Wait DeMuro, played by Amanda Camburn.
  • William and Rosanna Sturgis, re-enacted by Doug Camburn and Marsha Loyer.
  • Lt. Aaron B. Sturges, played by Colin Eastman.
  • Lucy Hanson, played by Hannah Heitger.
  • Eunice Kraft, played by Alex Milton.
  • Aloysia “Alle Mac” McLaughlin, played by Barb Neff.
  • Christian Wilhelm, played by Doug Bates.
  • Dr Eleanor Gillespie and Blanche Emory, played by Lori Davidsmeyer and Kristi Smith.

The biographical performances were written by Blouin Policelli, Dianne Gorsuch, Sheila Bolda, Lynn Jones, Bonnie Mort and Amelia Earl.

Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at or by calling 269-651-8541.

The project is a collaboration between the Sturgis Historical Society, the Sturges-Young Center for the Arts and the Sturgis Civic Players.


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