EATON — The Preble County Historical Society held two cemetery tours this past weekend to kick off the month of October. The Historic Mound Hill Cemetery Tour and Historic Ghost Walk of Fort St. Clair were both held on Saturday, Oct. 5, as a way to introduce people to different stories from Preble County past.
“The cemetery tours were held for a historical walk and narrative about Preble county history. It focused on individuals interred at the cemetery who were apart of that history. There were stories of pioneers who founded Preble County as well as stories of mystery and murders,” Executive Director Misti Spillman said.
The society had 18 people attend the Mound Hill tour and sold out for the Fort St. Clair tour with a total of 40 people attending. Attendees paid a registration fee, which goes toward the operating funds for PCHS.
According to Spillman, the Historical Mound Hill Cemetery Tour explores stories of first pioneers, such as William Bruce and Cornelius VanAusdal.
“There are stories of Civil War veterans who lost their lives very young and were involved with Battle of Gettysburg. The Minor brother were three brothers killed within six months of each other, showing that no home was left untouched by the Civil War,” she said.
“We also talk about the murders of Daniel Christman and Liola Gilmore, the first librarian of Preble County. I enjoy doing the research for these tours. They are very interesting and local history is very important even if some stories are not good ones. It is still the history of Preble County.”
This is the first year PCHS did the Historic Ghost Walk of Fort St. Clair. According to Spillman, this tour was an opportunity to share more paranormal stories from Preble County, while the Mound Hill tour focuses on historical stories.
“It included history of the battle in 1792 and the six soldiers who lost their lives. We also included ghost stories from lore of Native Americans and other accounts people have experienced while at the Fort,” she said. “Both of these tours explore the history of Preble County.
“People learn about things that happened long ago that they might not know about. Everyone always tells us that they learn something new when attending our historic tours. If we can accomplish that, then PCHS has succeeded with our mission.
“It is also a great way to promote our other upcoming events at PCHS. If anyone would like to find out more information about our upcoming events they can visit our website www.preblecountyhistoricalsoicety.org and our Facebook page.”
The Preble County Historical Society has another event coming up, if interested in ghosts and Halloween-themed events. Next weekend is the first weekend of this year’s Haunted Hayride. The event will be held on Friday, Oct. 11 and Saturday, Oct. 12, as well as Friday, Oct. 18 and Saturday, Oct. 19.
The hayride will run — on all four nights — from 7:30 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. at the Preble County Historical Society Haunted Farm, located at 7693 Swartsel Rd., in Eaton. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased the night of the event.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH