Kane County History: Elgin Cemetery Walk Is Virtual Travel Through Time

Kane County History: Elgin Cemetery Walk Is Virtual Travel Through Time

  • Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series on Kane County’s amazing history. Today’s article was contributed by Elgin Cemetery Walk Event Co-Chair Lillian Galfi and submitted by Elizabeth Marston of the Elgin History Museum.

After 32 years of touring visitors through Bluff City Cemetery, one day a year, the Elgin History Museum is creating a virtual event you can watch over and over again!

A virtual event will allow the museum to offer the walk experience to a wider audience, with safety as a priority.

Dr. Joseph Tefft was Elgin’s first doctor and mayor.

To produce the video, the museum will film costumed actors presenting their character’s story at the grave site. A costumed guide will lead the video audience through the cemetery. The video will be filmed in high definition for viewing on big screen TVs. It can also be viewed on a tablet or phone.

The 2020 Cemetery Walk video will premiere on elginhistory.org starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 27, 2020. It will then be available to watch on demand until Oct. 4, 2020.

Donations are welcome. You can easily donate by pressing the Donate Now button on the website.

The characters featured this year are:

  • General George McClure served in the War of 1812. He opened the first post office in the Elgin-Dundee area.
  • Ruth Ann Kimball lived with her family at the Cobblestone house on Chicago St. By 1900, Ruth Ann was considered to have lived in Elgin longer than anyone else.
  • Business owner Paul Kemler was the proprietor of the Washington House Hotel for 17 years and known to be the nicest man in the city.
  • Dr. Joseph Tefft was Elgin’s first doctor and mayor, and was responsible for getting Elgin incorporated as a city in 1854.
  • A wealthy dairy farmer, Peter Burritt owned 90 pieces of property, many of which remain historical buildings today. He married a much younger woman later in life who changed his life.
  • Elgin Typhoid Epidemic of 1916 affected many watch factory workers. The residents of Elgin had no idea what was causing people to be sick. You will hear from three victims of this devastating disease and its effects on them and their families.

On Sept. 27, login to the Elgin History website at www.elginhistory.org, then click the button to view the walk. The Cemetery Walk video will be available for one week at no charge.

Please consider making a donation to the museum at the end of the video to help with our mission to educate the public about local history and the importance of cemetery preservation.

Read The Kane County History Series!

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