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Local News October 6, 2011  RSS feed

Bringing Cemetery To Life On Oct. 15

Spirits Alive At Maple Grove

Some of Maple Grove Cemetery’s most well-known denizens will come back to life on Saturday, Oct. 15.

Spirits Alive 2011 will be held next Saturday from 3 to 6 p.m. at the site, located at 83-15 Kew Gardens Rd. in Kew Gardens.

Spirits Alive 2011 will feature a cast of over 20 volunteer actors dressed in period costumes who will portray some of Maple Grove’s most illustrious and historical figures from the past encompassing all walks of life.

This year the cemetery will be introducing a number of recently discovered figures:

 William Nelson, a World War I soldier who fought at the Battle of the Argonne Forest in France;

 Elma Stebbins, the wife of famed hymnist composer George Stebbins;

 Francis Marsh, a young telegraph operator who survived the Great Blizzard of 1888 and the following year’s Great Johnstown Flood;

 Madame Helen Bakhmeteff, the wife of the Russian Ambassador to the U.S. in 1917 who was witness to the fall of Czar Nicholas and his wife Alexandra;

 Jane Heath, who was a direct descendant of the founder of Rhode Island, Roger Williams;

 Elisabeth Japp, whose husband was the engineer who built the subway tunnels under the East River in the early 1900s;

 a nurse from Ellis Island Hospital who will tell the story of a woman in search of the resting place of her uncle who had died at the Ellis Island hospital at the age of four in 1921 and was missing for decades;

 John McKenney, a Civil War soldier who fought with the Massachusetts Heavy Artillery;

 LaVergne Bronk, whose ancestors where the first European settlers of the Bronx (which still bears their family name);

 Alonzo Adams, a sea captain who became king of an island in the Caribbean; and many more.

The most sensational discovery this year was the African-American Burial Ground of the historic Shiloh First Presbyterian Church, whose interred members were removed from the vaults of their church and brought to Maple Grove Cemetery in 1877. This church was on the Underground Railroad and had a huge impact on the anti-slavery moment for decades. Many of the most influential figures during the Civil War period spoke at the church, including Frederick Douglass.

Actors will appear as members of the congregation and tell you the entire story of this historic church and will be a highlight of Spirits Alive.

Visitors will receive easy-tofollow maps and programs.

In case of rain, Spirits Alive will be held at The Center at Maple Grove, located at 127-15 Kew Gardens Rd.

For more information, contact 1- 718-709-0390 or visit www.friendsofmaplegrove.org.