Waking the Dead Tours at Highland Cemetery June 30

Tickets for the Ninth Annual Waking the Dead Tours of Highland Cemetery are now available.

The cemetery is located at 2010 33rd Ave. S.

The tours, sponsored by the Paris Gibson Month Celebration Committee, in cooperation with the City of Great Falls Park and Recreation Department, will be held June 30, at 1-2:30 p.m. and 3-4:30 p.m.

Tickets to ride are $15 and to walk are $10. They may be purchased at the Great Falls Public Library, 301 2nd Ave. N., and Kaufmans Menswear, 411 Central Ave.

People will be transported by three trailers which will be pulled by trucks provided by Hoven Equipment. Hay bales for the trailers will be provided by Elliot Merja of Sun River.

Five of the 13 storytellers are related to their subjects. Graves to be featured and their storytellers are: Paris Gibson, founder of Great Falls, Channing Hartelius; George Washington Bird, early Great Falls architect, Richard Baker, great grandson; George Montgomery, actor, Elliot Merja, nephew; Robert Cameron, Scottish serf turned pioneer entrepreneurial livestock man, David Cameron, grandson; Kenneth McIver, founder of Pioneer Dairy; Bill Bronson, Charles M. Russell, cowboy artist; Nancy Russell, wife of Charles Russell, Mary Jane Bradbury; Ralph Jones, fell off the stack, Darren Smith; Robert Vaughn, founder of Vaughn, Mt., Cory Larsen, great nephew; Ronald Goodman Holt, world champion cowboy, Bob Bradley, nephew; Mary Little, early Great Falls woman entrepreneur, Shelby Smith; H. P. Rolfe, early Great Falls surveyor, Ken Robison; Sgt. Royal A. Caulfield, WWI hero, Dwight Smith.

Tour hosts will be Mary Ann Cosgrove, Norma Ashby Smith and Kate McCourt. Because tour seating is limited people are encouraged to get their tickets early and be at the cemetery at least 20 minutes before the tours begin.

Tour participants will be given free booklets containing pictures and histories of the featured people on the tours, provided by Croxford Funeral Home and Crematory. The storytellers’ remarks will be filmed by Max Murray of Murmax Productions with copies given to the storytellers, Great Falls Public Library and the History Museum, compliments of Montana Granite Industries. They will also be available to the public for $10.

Proceeds from previous tours have been used to plant trees in the cemetery, to paint the bandshell in Gibson Park and for a mural of Paris Gibson at 114 3rd St. S.

Each of the featured graves is marked by a sign donated by Kelly’s Signs. The date of the tours is scheduled on the Sunday afternoon closest to the birthday of Great Falls Founder Paris Gibson which is July 1. This year marks his 189th birthday.

For further information contact Norma Ashby Smith, tours chairman, 453-7078