The Frontier Homestead Museum Foundation hosted two free cemetery tours on Oct. 20 and 21 as a part of their Haunted Homestead events offered to get locals in the spirit of the Halloween season.
The event guided visitors throughout the Cedar City cemetery in a walk through history as they learned about prominent and fascinating figures important to the city’s history such as George Wood who played a crucial role in establishing what would eventually become Southern Utah University.
Attendees of all ages arrived in their seasonal wear to learn more about their community and its history.
“A cemetery is a place of history,” said guide Amy Howe. “It’s important that we keep our histories so that someday there will be a story behind us.”
Another historical name covered was Nellie Unthank, an inspiring pioneer whose statue resides on SUU’s campus between the Music building and South Hall. Unthank and her family left home in England when she was just nine years old and joined the Martin Handcart Company. When the caravan was caught in deadly winter conditions and both her parents died, Unthank and her sister continued the journey to Utah alone.
Unthank would later have both legs amputated due to severe frostbite.
Another notable figure buried in the cemetery is Gronway Parry who is attributed as being responsible for founding what became the Frontier Homestead Museum Foundation.
A more macabre memorial is that of Mary Jane McCune whose headstone reads “Bitten by rabid coyote, developed rabies, became violent, was smothered with feather bed. When husband returned she and her unborn child were dead and buried.”
Howe emphasized the importance of preserving community and personal history throughout the night.
“Keep track of your story, because you’re the one that matters,” said Howe. “Keep your history. Learn your history. Find out who your ancestors are.”
Other Haunted Homestead events at the museum will include a paranormal investigation presentation on Oct. 22 in the museum at 6 p.m., carnival games and activities on Oct. 23 from 2-7 p.m. and a spooky walk from 7-9 p.m.
Admission to the carnival games is $2 per person or $8 per family. Visit the museum’s website here to learn more about the events.
Story and Photos by: Jared Clawson