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Reenactors Sought For May Cemetery Tour-Ghost Hunting For Newtown Notables



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Reenactors Sought For May Cemetery Tour—

Ghost Hunting For Newtown Notables

By Dottie Evans

Casting call!

Newtown Historical Society Board Member Patty Graves is on a manhunt for a couple of ghosts.

She’s already got town benefactress Mary Elizabeth Hawley and fiery Anglican preacher John Beach covered, but she has yet to fill two important roles.

“There will be ten ghosts in all,” said Ms Graves, as she described a special tercentennial event planned for Saturday, May 14.

Called “Newtown Notables, Gone But Not Forgotten,” the event will take place at the Village Cemetery off Elm Drive near the Ram Pasture. A guided tour of the cemetery is planned during which ten well-known but long-deceased prominent Newtown residents will be called forth from their respective resting places to speak about the town’s history from their own particular points of view.

The ten ghosts will be dressed in period costumes and while standing nearby their granite markers, they will be ready to meet and greet the living as they pass by.

One part needing a reenactor is that of 19th Century African American resident Alfred Jeffrey Briscoe, the grandson of a slave. Mr Briscoe lived from 1831 to 1896 and he was a volunteer fireman and driver for Dick’s Hotel. Beloved by many townspeople, he lies buried beneath an imposing cast iron monument in the ancient south end of Newtown Village Cemetery.

Another reenactor is sought to play Henry Sandford, born in 1822. Mr Sandford became a wealthy merchant in town.

 “We’ve got an enthusiastic roster of volunteers already signed up for many notables,” Ms Graves said, “but we have yet to raise the last two.”

Anyone willing to don 19th Century garb and portray Alfred Jeffrey Briscoe or Henry Sandford on Saturday, May 14, should call Patty Graves at 426-3418.

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