This was my first year to attend the History Comes Alive event hosted by the Sherman Museum at the West Hill Cemetery. Despite having driven past the cemetery for years, I never had reason to walk through it until Saturday. What I saw surprised me. So near to Halloween, I wondered if it might be slightly spooky or maybe sad to think of the many people resting there.
Instead what I experienced was a wonderful sense of beauty and history. The cemetery was green and well cared for. As I walked from one station to the next with my tour group, we were surprised to find many names that were familiar to us from the names of our schools, churches and streets.
Different historical figures are highlighted each year and the sheer number of historically significant individuals buried at West Hill was astounding. Volunteers gave entertaining monologues at each of the stops along the tour that provided attendees with interesting facts tied to Sherman. The tour group was also more diverse than I was expecting. Families with children, individuals and couples that have been attending for years all showed up to learn about our town and the people that once lived here.
With each history-related event I cover, it becomes more and more clear to me how vital they are. Without having attended the event, I would have likely never known about the life of Marshall Lee Simmons or Hope Dupree Ridings Miller or any of the other fascinating people that once made an impact on our community.
Happy birthday Wednesday to Ron Smith and Walter Shaw of Denison; Larry Neal of Bells; Kane Sloan and Jimmie Stibbins of Sherman; Bill Brown of Westminster; Carol Hare of Fort Worth; James Hannan of Colbert, Oklahoma; and David Brackett of Randolph.