Cemetery tour highlights notable former residents

Cemetery tour highlights notable former residents

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Albany doctor Frank Beauchamp was born in Natrona, Illinois, in 1877. He took to his summer home in Waldport, hoping that the sea air would restore him. It didn’t. He suffered a heart attack and died at the age of 64. On July 24, former Albany Fire Chief Darrel Tedisch will tell the story of what happened between Natrona and Waldport for Beauchamp.

It’s part of the 13th annual headstone tour hosted by the Albany Masonic Cemetery and the Albany Regional Museum. The free event highlights nine notable residents of Albany buried in the cemetery, which saw its first burial in August of 1853, when 9-month-old Sarah A. Graham passed away.

“We’re focusing on the nine, but there will be about 40 other people that people can read about as they walk through,” said Kay Burt, one of the event's organizers.

Among the nine featured headstones, there’s a journalist, grocer, justice court judge, a convention delegate, a college president and a pastor.

Local residents like Tedisch will tell their stories beginning at 7 p.m. at the cemetery, which is located at the corner of Seventh Street and Broadway Ave. The event will run until dusk.

Oscar Hult of the Natty Dresser is scheduled to discuss Frank George Merrill, who served as the president of the Albany Timber Carnival Association and owned Merrill’s Men’s Store. Kim Sass, former administrator for Samaritan Albany General Hospital, will share the story of Ianthe Smith, who was born in 1901. Smith worked a journalist at the Capital Journal in Salem before going on to become the women’s editor at the Albany Democrat-Herald.

Parking for the event is limited. A trolley will provide transportation to the cemetery from the Albany Regional Museum beginning at 6:45 p.m. and running every 30 minutes until 8:45.

For more information, contact the Albany Regional Museum at 541-967-7122.

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