What an exciting time in Urbana’s Oak Dale Cemetery last week-end. From the moment you entered the cemetery, you traveled a lighted path to the oldest part of the cemetery where you heard stories pertaining to our African American forefathers. Thanks to a year of research by John Bry, local historian, the accomplishments and forgotten episodes of their lives came to life. What a history lesson it was! A big thank you to John for his months of preparation and for being the best tour guide ever! A thank you, also, to Kim Brooks for her beautiful presentation of “Go Down Moses” which was a beautiful climax to the early tours.
On behalf of the Champaign County Preservation Alliance, I extend our thanks to the local business community for their support which allowed us to invest in torches, spot lights, photos, and luminaries. These additions were well received and created an ambiance to the evening. “Follow the lighted path” was the magic phrase for the evening.
To the Cemetery Board, we appreciate the opportunity to present the event, to the City of Urbana, thank you for your support and help, and to Bob Jumper and the Oak Dale Cemetery caretakers, thank you for preparing the cemetery and the “caretakers” building for our use… you did an amazing job!
To our hundreds of guests, thank you for supporting our event – especially those who braved the Friday rain! We hope it was an enjoyable evening for you.
A personal thank you to the committee who worked for months to insure a successful event — they are the best! To Dusty Hurst, Bethany Rogers-Neidenthal, Catherine Harris, Lee Ann Steed, Suzanne McCoy, Amanda McDaniel, Alex and Katie Schenkel and Corey and Emily Huffman — job well done! To Vince Gonzalez, Gary Neidenthal, Brad McCoy and Elton Cultice thank you for your participation in making the tour a success!
Oak Dale Cemetery Tours