From Beyond the Grave: Alton's Past Comes to Life

Inspiring teachers, a prominent local architect, and Tuskegee Airmen will all come back to life through the talents of Alton Little Theater's docents and actors who will perform during the popular Vintage Voices experience in October.

Vintage Voices will once again bring Alton's historical figures back to life and will take place in the historic Alton City Cemetery at 5th and Vine Streets. Ten different characters who were influential in Alton's history during the turn of the century will be featured over two weekends in October.

Vintage Voices: A New Century 1880 - 1920 tours will run continuously from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on two consecutive weekends: Saturday Oct. 7 and Sunday, Oct 8; Saturday, Oct. 14 and Sunday, Oct. 15. Tickets for the walking tours are $15 for adults and $10 for students. Tickets are available in advance at the Alton Little Theater box Office, and the Alton Visitors Center, 200 Piasa St., Alton.

This year's notable citizens who will once again come back to life include: May Olive Gillham and Bertha Whitney, both inspiring teachers; Jame M. Maupin, a prominent Alton architect; Mrs. Henry Watson, a local philanthropist who donated land for Riverview Park; William Luecth, a WWI veteran; and Capt. Arnold Wilson Ciscoe and 2nd Lt. George Edward Cisco, Tuskegee Airmen; Andrew Carnegie will serve as 'historian' and enlighten visitors about the history of the library system; Nick Taneakas, a young drowning victim and Richard Galbaly, a glass blower who represented Illinois Glass at an exhibition in Paris, France.

"We have such a rich, rich tour this year. And the City Cemetery is really a historic treasure. It's a wonderful place with graves going back to the Civil War." Lee Cox, Public Relations Director for Alton Little Theater

The popular tours run every 12 minutes and take about an hour to complete. The historic characters are often found standing beside their graves in full historically correct costuming. Finding new and interesting characters to portray each year is a labor of love for Cox and her fellow Alton Little Theater actors.

"Very rarely do we repeat a character and if we do, we put a new spin on that person with new dialogue. Vintage Voices is a different tour every year and it's always an original script," Cox said.

A non-walking tour and Wine and cheese reception will be held at the Alton Little Theater Showplace at 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 13. Tickets are $20 per person. The 2017 Vintage Voices Program benefits the upkeep of the cemetery and the community outreach programs of Alton Little Theater. The guided tours through the beautiful, historic City Cemetery follow a 3/4-mile path and take about 50 minutes.