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“Voices from Mount Bloom” Come Alive in Tiskilwa on Saturday, August 5

On the afternoon of August 5, former residents from Tiskilwa’s colorful past will share a few of their most interesting life experiences. Ticketed performances will begin at 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00, as visitors gather ‘round the gazebo on the south side of historic Mount Bloom Cemetery, atop of the bluff just west of Tiskilwa.

Specially selected local actors in period costume will portray these six citizens of the past: Shannon Cotter as Catharine Keep Bloom, the young wife and mother who was the first burial at Mt. Bloom; Ed Waca as Bill Slygh, longtime blacksmith and storyteller; Joy Schertz as Romelia Lyon Stevens, matriarch of the B.N. Stevens family and their historic home; Phil Kauffman as O.W. Battey, who founded the Battey Lumber Company in the late 1800s; and Tom and Linda Ashby as Aaron Sturges, a Revolutionary veteran, and his daughter Lydia.

In a new event for Pow Wow Days, the Tiskilwa Historical Society is presenting “Voices from Mount Bloom” in order to raise money for its newly established Building Fund. Its first project will be the renovation and restoration of the American Legion Hall as a new location for selected portions of the society’s military and country school collections.

Tickets are now on sale daily at the Tiskilwa Public Library as well as Saturdays at Tiskilwa’s Museum on Main. For this fundraiser, the society is requesting donations of $10 for adult and $5 for teens. Children 12 and under will be admitted free in the company of a ticketed adult.

For those who need a ride, BPART buses will be provided, leaving from the museum. For those driving, parking will be available in the field below the cemetery steps or the pasture just west of the cemetery. Audience members are asked not to park on the north or south side of the cemetery grounds. In case of a downpour, the three presentations will be held upstairs in the community room of the Museum on Main.

For forty years in the first half of the 20th century, Bill Slygh reigned as Tiskilwa’s “Quite a character!” blacksmith. Bill is pictured here in his self-proclaimed “Hut.” On Saturday, August 5, Tiskilwa native Ed Waca, who grew up hearing stories of Bill Slygh, will portray the legendary smithy at the “Voices of Mount Bloom” program.

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