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'Waking The Dead' adds new stop to the tour

History will come alive during the 14th annual Waking the Dead Tours
Highland Cemetery hosts 'Waking The Dead' tours (2023)
Posted at 5:43 PM, Jun 19, 2024

History will come alive during the 14th annual Waking the Dead Tours, featuring re-enactors telling the stories of some of the historical figures buried at the Highland Cemetery.

The tour will feature storytellers at ten graves in the Highland Cemetery, each portraying one of the historical figures, including Great Falls founder Paris Gibson, artist Charlie Russell, western movie star George Montgomery, and other figures that made an impact on the Great Falls area.

One of the tour hosts, Dwight Smith, explains, “It's important that we know the history of our city. it's important to know, and get a living history. you know, you come out to a graveyard and, and there's not much conversation going on. But if you have storytellers talking about these famous people and what they did for our city and getting it started, it's very worthwhile.”

Smith will also be a storyteller on the tour, portraying Medal of Honor recipient Captain John E. Moran.

A new stop on the tour was added this year, the Potter’s Field, a mass unmarked gravesite used in the late 19th and early 20th centuries for those who were not able to purchase a grave.

The Genealogy Society recently dug through records to identify the thousands of unidentified people buried in the plot. They were able to find who was buried there, when they died and what they died of.

Flags have been placed through the field to represent each person, and Highland Cemetery has plans for a future monument marking the area, and naming those previously unidentified. The story of the potter’s field and a few of those buried there will be told on the tour.

Tickets for the tour are $20 to ride or $15 to walk the tour, and all proceeds will go toward Great Falls Park and Recreation. Tickets can be purchased at Kaufmans Menswear Centre located at 411 Central Avenue in downtown Great Falls.

Tours will be held at 1pm and 3pm on Sunday, June 30th at the Highland Cemetery located at 2010 33rd Avenue South.