“Tales from the Tomb” is an educational program of the Bulloch County Historical Society involving telling the stories of prominent local individuals who are buried in Eastside Cemetery. Most years, the Society also features a guest spirit, someone who is not buried in Eastside but in another cemetery, usually somewhere in Bulloch County.
The 2018 Tales from the Tomb event is set for Sunday, June 10 in Eastside Cemetery. The 45-minute tours begin at 2:30 p.m., with the last tour starting at approximately 3:30 p.m.
Tickets are available for $10 each at the Statesboro Herald office at 1 Proctor St. Also, some seats on golf carts are available for patrons in need of assistance during the tour.
2018 profiles include Julian and Pearl Brannen, Percy and Nan Bland, John Fletcher Darley, Jr., Dr. Kemp Mabry and Willie Heddleston. Well-known local actor Micah Whittaker will also portray nineteenth century ex-slave Aaron Munlin who is the 2018 “guest spirit,” one not buried in Eastside, but elsewhere in Bulloch County. Elder Munlin was one of the organizers of Banks Creek Primitive Baptist Church in northern Bulloch County.
Eastside Cemetery did not exist until 1889 when a group of leading citizens negotiated for the purchase of this land on the east side of Statesboro from Sol F. Olliff. By creating a new city cemetery, the town fathers were replacing the two existing burying grounds – the Nevils Cemetery on North Main near First Baptist Church and the Wise Cemetery on South Main near First United Methodist Church.
Historical Society President Joe McGlamery said, “Tales from the Tomb shares important information for a modern audience about the lives of Eastside Cemetery residents. Most of the Eastside “residents” on the tour never would be included in history books, but for various reasons, they were important to this community.”
“For the most part, they were the “movers and shakers” of their day. They were the builders and the architects of this community. Few of today’s citizens would know anything about these forbearers without this program offering information on these stately graves and their occupants,” McGlamery added.
“The tales we present each year are enhanced by being told by professional and student actors and actresses from the community, using scripts written by members of the Bulloch County Historical Society,” added Brent Tharp, chairman of the 2018 Tales from the Tomb and vice president of the Historical Society.
More than 6,000 people have been buried among the rolling hills of Eastside Cemetery since the first internment took place in March of 1890 when a young printer named Willie Heddleston was buried there. Interestingly, Mr. Heddleston is among those residents being featured in the 2018 Tales from the Tomb.