OSWEGO COUNTY – Stories of local legends and spirits will return with a live performance when SUNY Oswego’s Storytelling Class presents the 7th Annual Oswego City Rural Cemetery: Ghost and Ghost Storytelling Tour story at 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 29.
Professor Jonel Langenfeld of SUNY Oswego’s Theater Faculty leads costumed storytellers as they bring the stories of local historical figures to life at this free, family-friendly event.
“I am very proud of the students in the storytelling class and their passion for sharing the stories of famous and less famous historical figures residing in this cemetery and others,” said Langenfeld, who teaches the interdisciplinary course. “The students had a great time researching this area where they go to school. They learned a lot about Oswego, the college, the people, the area and its history. Students also learn the importance of understanding each other’s story.
She added, “We will again feature our collaboration with Candis Haak of SUNY Oswego History School and her course ‘Death, Data and Local Cemeteries’.
Due to the popularity of the event, it will be presented this year in two parts to ensure the best possible experience for guests and to protect the integrity of the cemetery grounds. The first act will take place from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. under a marquee where storytellers will talk about people who are not buried in the cemetery.
The audience will split into two groups for the second act which includes the walking tour and quizzes. One group will walk, while another will participate in history quizzes.
Throughout the event, guests will hear the stories of college founder Edward Austin Sheldon; Dr. Mary Walker, a local pioneer in women’s rights and the only woman to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor; Harriet Tubman, heroine of the Underground Railroad; Queen Lili’uokalni Kamaka’eha (and her Oswego connection to Walker); Saint Marianne Cope; Chief Pontiac; Lida Penfield (university library namesake); Dr. Richard Shineman; Audrey Munson (considered the “first supermodel”); and much more.
Free entry; however, tickets are required. E-mail [email protected] to book a free ticket. Space is limited to 200 tickets. Tickets will contain important information, including which band the ticket holder will belong to during the second half of the show, and must be presented to enter the show.
Parking will not be permitted at the cemetery except for those with accessibility needs. Free and mandatory on-campus parking will be provided in Suburban Lot #8 (on the right after entering the main campus entrance), as well as free bus transportation to and from the cemetery. There will be four bus loops running every 20 minutes from 2:40-3:40 p.m. before the show and 6:45-7:45 p.m. after the show. Those requiring accessibility should email [email protected] to reserve a limited parking space.
There will be a cash-only merchandise table at the cemetery in support of the Oswego Town Historical Society. Langenfeld gave special thanks to Oswego city historian George DeMass, a SUNY Oswego alumnus in 1966.
The event is sponsored by the Oswego Town Historical Society and the theater and history departments of SUNY Oswego.
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