For Brian Mulherin, Historic Augusta's Walk with the Spirits tour represents more than Augusta's rich past, it represents important parts of his life.
"My mother is buried there, and my father is buried here," Mulherin said as he stood in the family plot at Magnolia Cemetery.
He was at the cemetery for a dress rehearsal of the third annual cemetery tour, which will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. He will portray his uncle, Charles Mulherin, and tell of his grandfather's journey from Ireland to Augusta.
Guided by actors portraying Augustans who are buried in Magnolia Cemetery, tour-goers will have an unusual peek at Augusta's history and learn about Victorian cemetery symbolism.
The 40-minute tours will feature prominent Augustans, including George Evans, an Augusta mayor for whom the Columbia County community of Evans is named, and Katharine Hammond Gregg McCoy, the daughter of Gov. James Henry Hammond whose home is now the Redcliffe Plantation State Historic Site.
She was later married to J.J. Gregg, who was murdered by a disgruntled former employee at the Graniteville Mill in 1876.
"History is a great deal of fun," said Michelle Zupan, of the Watson-Brown Foundation, who portrays McCoy, and has been part of all three tours.
By allowing these people to come back to life, so to speak, the program is a more interesting way of presenting history than just reading it in a textbook, Zupan said.
Julia Jackson, of Historic Augusta, said the tours are popular amongst Augustans, many of whom have ancestors buried in Magnolia Cemetery. The first tour was at Summerville Cemetery, and last year's tour was at Magnolia Cemetery. About 330 people visited Summerville, and 440 took part at the tour at Magnolia.
The tour costs $15 for adults and $10 for children. For groups of 10 or more, the cost is $10 per person. It is not recommended for children younger than 5 years old. The tours will be presented rain or shine.
Reservations are encouraged. For information, call (706) 724-0436 or visit www.historicaugusta.org.
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