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Historical Society hosts annual Cemetery Walk

September 8, 2011

The Ridgway Mausoleum is one of the many stops along the Elk County Historical Society's 5th Annual Cemetery Walk. Photo by Gian DeLoia.

The Elk County Historical Society will be hosting its 5th Annual Cemetery Walk this Friday and Saturday.
On Friday, Sept. 9 at 7 p.m., an oral history will be presented in the Center House Museum for those who cannot walk the cemetery. Refreshments will be served after the program.
The guided walking tour of Pine Grove, St. Leo and Thayer Cemeteries will take place on Saturday, Sept. 10. To take part in the cemetery walk, meet at the Pine Grove Cemetery at 3 p.m.
"We encourage everyone to come and find out about the history," said society director Mary Kalinowski. "There is a lot of history in those three cemeteries and it's not just Ridgway residents buried there. There are a lot of people that were not even from here; they were just passing through and something tragic happened to them and they ended up spending an eternity here."
One of the stops along the tour includes the gravesite of a rodeo cowboy who was buried in 1903. The cowboy was part of the Cole, Younger and Frank James Wild West Show.
"He was doing a show in DuBois and the next show was to be in Ridgway, but he was killed by his horse, so they brought him to Ridgway and buried him here," Kalinowski said. "They even bought him a stone."
Kalinowski also noted the death of a young man who was walking from Cleveland to Ridgway to find work and reached just inside the Elk County line when he was struck by a train.
"He never made it to Ridgway for his job, but he was buried here," Kalinowski said.
Other stops will include the gravesites of famous baseball players Bunker Rhines, who played for the Cincinnati Reds, and Soup Young.
The walk will also stop at the Ridgway Mausoleum, giving patrons an opportunity to tour the facility.
Construction on the Ridgway Mausoleum began in 1911 and was completed in 1913. The mausoleum holds the remains of O.B. Grant of Grant's Tannery, and Walter Murphy of the Hyde-Murphy Company.

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