Volunteer actors for the six portrayals have been announced for the 10th annual Tales of the Crypt scheduled for Oct. 17-18 at Fairview Cemetery in Van Buren.
For the fifth year, the event will include a twilight version under the glow of Victorian street lights from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 17. Tales will be repeated Sunday, Oct. 18, from 2 to 4 p.m.
Students from Tom Wing’s historical interpretation program at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith will portray six historical figures buried at Fairview Cemetery, which was established in 1837 when John Drennen donated 10 acres to establish the cemetery.
The students are Sarah Rosenkrans, Christopher Dolanski, Ted Charter, Jennifer Charter, Colt James and Haley Talley.
Rosenkrans will portray Deweese Stedman (1919–2014), retired bookkeeper for People’s Bank in Van Buren, homemaker, mother and matriarch of Wood Memorial Christian Church.
L.C. Southmayd (1822–1906), store clerk and circuit and county clerk, will be portrayed by Dolanski.
Ted Charter will play the role of Dibrell Johnson (1910-95), Van Buren civic leader, grocer, businessman and real estate developer.
Johnson’s wife, Mary Katherine Peters Johnson (1916-72) will be played by Jennifer Charter, who is Ted Charter’s wife.
James will portray H. Thomas Brown (1835-61), captain of the Van Buren Guards, Gratiot’s 3rd Arkansas Infantry, Confederate States of America. Brown was killed on the first day of battle at Oak Hills, Mo.
Frances McAlister Scott (1851-1901), driving force behind the United Daughters of the Confederacy statue at the Courthouse and Arkansas ambassador at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, will be portrayed by Talley.
All the portrayals are buried at Fairview Cemetery, which has been used as a burial ground dating back to 1816. Some of the monuments are more than 160 years old.
Proceeds from Tales of the Crypt are used for preservation of historic monuments in the cemetery.
Tales of the Crypt organizer Randy Smith said 2,060 of the 2,900 burials at Fairview Cemetery are historical. He also pointed out there are 1,300 sites available at the cemetery, which was accorded National Register of Historic Places on June 1, 2005.
Tales of the Crypt is sponsored in part by the City of Van Buren, the Van Buren Historic District Commission and the Van Buren Advertising and Promotion Commission.
Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for children. Entry to the cemetery will be on the McKibben Street gate with only handicapped parking permitted inside the cemetery. All other parking will be on the McKibben Street side.
Parking and shuttle service is in the parking lot just east of the train depot at Cane Hill and Main Street.