Did you know that a famous resort in New Jersey has roots in Urbana? Or maybe you knew that a silent screen star has relatives buried in Oak Dale Cemetery? How about the fact that the musical, “Cats,” has distant ties to Urbana?
The Champaign County Preservation Alliance (CCPA) is once again calling on all local history buffs – local historian and CCPA member, John Bry, will take fellow history lovers on a walking tour, themed the “Ladies of Oak Dale Cemetery,” through a part of Urbana’s Oak Dale Cemetery on Friday, Oct. 21 and Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022.
Tours will be limited to approximately 40 minutes each, with Bry telling interesting stories about some of Urbana’s native residents who are buried in Oak Dale Cemetery. There will be four walking tours each evening beginning at 5 p.m., 6 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. The walking tour is not handicap accessible and will require participants to wear comfortable shoes in order to walk carefully in grass and on asphalt. No pets are allowed to attend and tour-goers are encouraged to bring flashlights.
Face masks are not required at this time, but the CCPA will adhere to any COVID-19 mandates in place at the time of the event. Tours allow 45 people to go at once; social distancing is encouraged. To secure yourself a spot, please go online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cemetery-tour-tickets-420015998157 to purchase tickets directly from the CCPA. Tickets are $12 each. Once purchased, tickets are non-refundable.
This walking tour is not “haunted” and is educational in nature; people of all ages are invited to buy a ticket and walk along to hear some stories that belong solely to the people of Champaign County.
The CCPA works hard to preserve historical places and monuments in Champaign County. For 29 years, the CCPA has been the custodian of the 1858 Meeting House in Mechanicsburg – previously known as the Second Baptist Church. Renovations continue to preserve The 1858 Meeting House to be used as a communal space. In addition, monies are returned to the county in the form of the annual matching façade grant program. This program recognizes and supports residential and business owners completing façade preservations to their homes or businesses.
To continue to provide these grants well into the future, the CCPA conducts several fundraisers, including the Historic Home & Garden Tour, which showcases homes in Champaign County for their historic architecture and design and beautiful gardens. Any funds raised by the 2022 Cemetery Tour will be put toward the annual façade grant program to help the CCPA continue to preserve Champaign County’s rich history.
The CCPA would like to extend many thanks to the City of Urbana, the Oak Dale Cemetery Board and Bob Jumper and his crew at the Oak Dale Cemetery for their willingness to help organize and volunteer for this special event.
If you’d like to become a member of the CCPA or would like to donate in kind, please visit this website to learn more: https://www.ccpapreserveohio.org/.
Submitted by the CCPA