The Heritage Museum & Cultural Center and the History Center at Courthouse Square are teaming up to offer historical walking tours of St. Joseph this fall, for the fourth consecutive year. In October 2017, two separate tour programs will be presented in the City Cemetery and through the Old St. Joseph Neighborhood. Reservations are strongly advised; reserve a tour time by calling the Heritage Museum at (269) 983-1191. A $5 donation per person is requested to support the ongoing historical programs of both non-profit organizations.
St. Joseph City Cemetery
Spooky St. Joe Cemetery Tours will take place the evening of Saturday, October 7 beginning at 6:30pm. The City Cemetery on Lakeview Avenue is the final resting place for hundreds of the town’s residents, including settlers who helped found the village in 1834, war veterans, lake captains, and entrepreneurs. Tour Guides will show grave monuments and share incredible but true stories of shipwrecks, mysterious deaths, and other local incidents. Groups will also be taken inside the cemetery’s beautiful mausoleum, dedicated in 1914, for a closer look at the names inside and amazing stories from the past about those individuals.
Tour groups will gather at the cemetery entrance on Lakeview Avenue. Guests are advised to find street parking on LaSalle or Madison Avenues, or use the parking lot at United Way of Southwest Michigan. Tours are weather permitting; if necessary, this program may be moved to the rain back-up date of Sunday, October 8 at the same times.
Old St. Joseph Neighborhood
Haunted Historic Neighborhood Tours will be held on Sunday, October 22 beginning at 1:00pm. Houses in the Old St. Joseph Neighborhood date from the mid-19th to the mid-20th century and many of them have witnessed tragic and mysterious events over the last 160 years. For example, ship Captain Cornelius McNeil took his wife, Persilla, and their three children with him aboard the bark Sunshine in 1859. The ship capsized on Lake Erie during a storm and only Persilla survived. The house from which they left on their ill-fated voyage still stands on State Street—one of the oldest in St. Joe. At another home, the John F. Duncan House built in 1892, various people claim to have seen the ghost of a teenaged girl.
Tour groups will gather at Bear Park, on the corner of State Street and Market Street. Tours are weather permitting; if necessary, this program may be moved to the rain back-up date of Sunday, October 29 at the same times.
Call the Heritage Museum for Reservations
Everyone is welcome for these fun and fascinating tours of St. Joseph’s frightening history. Bring your walking shoes and dress warmly! Please contact the Heritage Museum at (269) 983-1191 to reserve your spot for the tours, or for more information.