Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tickets Now on Sale for Annual Discovery Walk

Every October, the McLean County Museum of History and Illinois Voices Theatre stage a Discovery Walk at Bloomington's Evergreen Cemetery, with local actors portraying area citizens from days past. Volunteer tour guides lead groups around the cemetery, stopping to hear from characters like Judge David Davis and Jesse Fell, real people who once made waves around here and were laid to their eternal rest at Evergeen Cemetery at least 25 years ago.

Harry Green, one of the Flying LaVans
Neither Davis nor Fell nor any member of their families are on the program this year, but you will get a chance to meet the Flying LaVans, AKA Fred and Harry Green, daring young men on the flying trapeze; Maria Sophia Bach, who made trousers for the troops while her husband served in the Union Army; Henry L. Brown, who fought against discrimination his entire life; civic leader Ruby Edwards; parade enthusiast Lloyd Eyer; Civil War veteran and McLean County Sheriff James Goodheart, and Alice Orme Smith, a World War I Red Cross nurse who reinvented herself as a landscape architect when her war service was done.

Alice Orme Smith
I know the most about Alice Orme Smith at the moment, because I will be portraying her! Last time I did the Discovery Walk, I was another member of the Orme family, Alice's aunt, Lucy Orme Morgan, who was a charter member of the McLean County Red Cross, a philanthropist, and a major proponent of women's suffrage. Strong ladies in the Orme family!

Alice served on the frontlines with the Red Cross in France, and then achieved a great deal of success with her landscape designs, including designing the Main Vista and the Garden of Religion at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York and the grounds of the American Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, Connecticut.

You can read more about Alice and the Flying LaVans and this year's other featured characters at the Museum's new website here, and then get tickets at the Museum, the Garlic Press, Casey's Garden Shop, or at Evergreen Memorial Cemetery. If you have questions, please call the Museum at 309-827-0428.

The 2013 Discovery Walk will take place on Saturdays and Sundays, October 5 and 6 and 12 and 13, with tours beginning at 11 am and 2 pm each day. And if you see me out there, be sure to call me Alice. Or maybe Miss Smith.

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