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Historical Society Stages “Voices” at Mount Bloom Cemetery on August 5

On the bluff west of Tiskilwa, more than 4,000 folks are sleeping on the hill, to borrow a phrase from Edgar Lee Masters’ “Spoon River Anthology.” On Saturday afternoon, August 5, the Tiskilwa Historical Society will present the stories of six of those early residents.

The gazebo on the south side of the cemetery will serve as a stage for local actors in period costume. The people of the past to be portrayed are Catharine Bloom Keep by Shannon Cotter; Bill Slygh by Ed Waca; Romelia Lyon Stevens by Joy Schertz; O.W. Battey by Phil Kauffman; and Aaron and Lydia Sturges by Tom and Linda Ashby.

Tickets for this fundraiser are for sale daily at the Tiskilwa Public Library as well as Saturdays from 9:00 to 2:00 at Tiskilwa’s Museum on Main. The society is requesting donations of $10 for adult and $5 for teens. Children 12 years and under will be admitted free in the company of a ticketed adult.

Performance times are 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00 on August 5, with a maximum of 40 tickets per presentation. For the audience’s shaded comfort, the society will provide tents and chairs, and speakers will use a portable P.A. system.

For those who would like a ride, BPART buses will be leaving from the museum at 15 minutes before each performance. Since audience members are asked not to park on the cemetery grounds, two parking areas have been arranged. At the top of the hill and just west of the cemetery, drivers may park in the field at the Gerber farmstead and take a 4-minute walk over to the gazebo. For those who feel like using the 78 stairs, the field below the cemetery steps to the southeast is also available for parking.

In case of a downpour, the hourly presentations will be held upstairs in the community room of the Museum on Main. The historical society is presenting “Voices from Mount Bloom” as a fundraiser for its new Building Fund, and all proceeds will help with the restoration of the former American Legion Hall at the north end of Tiskilwa.

The first burial in Mount Bloom Cemetery was 21-year-old wife and mother, Catharine Bloom Keep, portrayed by Shannon Cotter of Tiskilwa. On Saturday afternoon, August 5, the Tiskilwa Historical Society will present stories of six of Tiskilwa’s early residents at the “Voices from Mount Bloom” program.

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