This is the perfect time of year to take a hayride through Rosehill-Elmwood Cemetery and be transported back in time. Speakers from different times in history come out of the dark and tell their stories to a wagon full of new friends by lantern light.
In its eleventh year, Voices of Elmwood has told over 100 stories, entertained thousands of visitors and has been featured on Kentucky Educational Television.
Founded by the Owensboro Museum of Science and History, in collaboration with the Daviess County Public Library, Voices of Elmwood 2018 will offer ten new stories of people from our community. This year, Carolyn Greer, drama teacher at Owensboro High School, is directing the series.
“I am very excited to be a part of this,” Greer says. “It is a wonderful opportunity to combine theater and history. The fact that it’s going into its 11th year speaks volumes of its rich history.”
Greer wants to remind people that Voices of Elmwood is neither scary nor a ghost tour.
“It makes a wonderful opportunity to introduce the history of Owensboro to the community,” Greer said.
Kathy Olson, director of the Owensboro Museum of Science and History, said that it takes the commitment of actors and volunteers from a variety of locations to make Voices of Elmwood successful.
“Several of our scriptwriters live out-of-state and our actors and volunteers travel from near and far to share their gifts,” says Olson. “Our patrons travel too. People of different generations drive in from throughout Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee – and for the second year in a row, we have a tour bus of patrons attending from Texas.”
Olson is very proud of how established Voices of Elmwood has become.
“Everyone, actors, workers and patrons alike, keep coming back for the same reason – we share real stories about real people that connect us to our past, our collective history,” she said. “For the 75 minutes that patrons are traveling on the wagons through Elmwood, the veil of time is lifted, ever so slightly, and the effect is almost indescribable. By the end of this year’s performances, we will have shared 110 unforgettable stories about people from Owensboro’s 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Voices of Elmwood continues to thrive I think, simply because each of those stories links us across time and space.”
Starting Sept. 20, performances will begin at 6 p.m. each evening, with the last wagon leaving at 9 p.m. Tent shows, perfect for large church groups, supper clubs, tour buses or patrons preferring not to ride in the wagons, will be offered on October 4th, 5th and 6th and will begin at 6 p.m.
Wagon guides provide additional historical information throughout the performances.
The tours last about an hour and are not recommended for children under twelve years of age. Patrons should arrive fifteen minutes prior to their wagon’s departure time or tent show performance.
Tickets are $18 (plus fees) per person, for both the wagon and tent shows and are on sale NOW at owensborotickets.com.
Group sales of ten or more will receive a 10% discount. Patrons may obtain additional information by calling the Museum of Science and History at (270) 687-2732.
About the writer: Leslie McCarty is the manager of the Kentucky Room at the Daviess County Public Library. Leslie is president of the Whitesville Historical Society, Kentucky Chapter President of Honor and Remember, a member of Owensboro Kiwanis Club and writes a local history column. Leslie is a mom to three pugs and enjoys listening to veterans tell their stories and appreciates their service.