150 years old Wyuka Cemetery holds bi-annual tour
The Wyuka Cemetery opened 150 years ago, two years after Nebraska became a state.
"It's great to be a day of celebration and remembrance for those who years and years ago decided to set this aside for us in the middle of the city now so to speak. It was on the outskirts in 1869 of course," Vice President of the Wyuka Historical Foundation, Diane Bartels said.
The bi–annual walking tour highlights the historical implications of significant people who were laid to rest there.
"I'm overwhelmed actually when I saw the 350 people. I've been doing this for years, the tours with Ed, and to see all the people out here and they all seem to be really interested and many of them are new to this cemetery," Bartels said.
The cemetery was designed as a place for union veterans who came to this area and died after civil war.
People used to ride the trolley out as far as they could, stop at Campbell's Nursery for flowers and would sit around and have a picnic around the grave sites of their loved ones.
"It's park–like in it's setting, in addition to being a cemetery, a place of rest," Bartels said.
With around a 55 thousand body occupancy, the cemetery is famous for putting to rest the bodies of politicians, soldiers, and historical educators. Cemeteries hold some of the answers for the future.
"...And share the stories from those who died earlier with some of the younger members of the family... it's a beautiful place and I love history and I think if we don't know our past history, we're doomed to repeat it," Bartels said.
Next week at the stables in the cemetery, Flatwater Shakespeare will be performing some plays.