The annual Vintage Voices tours, held in the Alton Cemetery, return for the 2023 season on the following dates: Oct. 7, 8, 14, and 15.
Tours will leave the cemetery gate every 15-20 minutes between 12 noon and 2:30 p.m.
Walking tour tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for ages 6 through 18. Tickets can be purchased with cash at the event or online at https://vintagevoices2023.eventbrite.com. Pre-event tickets (with no service charge) can be purchased at Picture This & More, 17 E. Broadway, Alton, IL 62002.
A non-walking performance will be held on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023, at Lovejoy Event Center, 401 Piasa St., Alton, IL 62002. The one-hour performance begins at 5 p.m. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online at https://vintagevoices2022.eventbrite.com or at Picture This & More.
Vintage Voices is produced by a volunteer committee and volunteer actors who bring the history of Alton to life. The tours are an important cultural event in our community. Alton Cemetery is located at 5th and Vine Streets, Alton, IL 62002.
Proceeds from the annual event support its continuation, upkeep of the Alton Cemetery, and various community organizations.
This year, the tours will have nine stops with actors portraying:
- Anna Jenkins and Ron Abraham will portray Elizabeth “Mother” Clarkson and William Netzhammer who will discuss their opposing views on Prohibition.
- Diana Kay will portray Lottie Coleman with Annalynn Abbott and Reigh Thompson portraying Lottie’s nieces Eleanor and Lottie Jaeger. Lottie Coleman ran a successful boarding house, the Myrtle Hotel.
- Clarence Graves Sr. and Lillian Knight Graves will be portrayed by Jared Hennings and Velva Parker. Clarence Graves Sr. was a World War I veteran and retired from Standard Oil Company after forty years. Lillian Knight Graves was employed by the Alton Recreation Department, where she worked in the teenage center, with the senior citizens group, and as a playground director.
- John Meehan will portray Joseph Gratian, a nationally known pipe organ builder, composer, teacher, and musician.
- Latasha Leflore Porter will portray Pearl Singleton who owned a popular restaurant at 706 Belle Street. Many of her customers were shift workers at Duncan Foundry.
- This year marks the 50th anniversary of the end of direct U.S. military involvement in the Vietnam War. Sean Williams will portray Larry Julius Gholston, an Edwardsville High School standout athlete who went on to serve in the 11th Motor Transport Battalion.
- Anissa Reinoso will portray Mildred Ladon Leake Cunningham, an accomplished pianist and organist in Alton.
- Mary Sargent Dodge and Joseph True Dodge will be portrayed by Gail Drillinger and Jeff Pruett. Captain J.T. Dodge enlisted in the Union Army and later worked in the steamboat and railroad industries. Mary Sargent Dodge was a lifetime member of the First Presbyterian Church in Alton. She and her husband were involved in Memorial Day (originally called Decoration Day) observances in Alton.
- Debbie Maneke will portray Angie Rand Schweppe, a charter member of the Alton Woman’s Home Association who also coordinated the creation of Riverview Park. Angie Schweppe was heavily involved with the Humane Society and fought for women’s suffrage.
Follow Vintage Voices Tours on Facebook and Instagram for further information.