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Published: Wednesday, 10/5/2011

Civil War to be focus at cemetery

Woodlawn slates walking tour

BY JANET ROMAKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Donna Christian, who has more than 30 years' experience as a librarian in the local history and genealogy department, Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, is to be one of the tour guides. The cemetery's Civil War monument is in the background. Donna Christian, who has more than 30 years' experience as a librarian in the local history and genealogy department, Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, is to be one of the tour guides. The cemetery's Civil War monument is in the background.
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Stories about Civil War soldiers, generals, and monuments are to be shared during Historic Woodlawn Cemetery's Civil War and fall foliage tour next week, scheduled to coincide with the peak leaf color.

Fifty to 100 people typically attend the walking tour events, said Patty Toneff, the cemetery's director of community outreach. Tour guides Fred Folger, Donna Christian, and Tim Haney are to make presentations during the 90-minute tour which is to start Sunday at 1 p.m. The event also is to feature re-enactors dressed in Civil War-era style.

The Lucas County Civil War monument, dedicated on May 25, 1901, is one of the special sections at Woodlawn commemorating area veterans. Made of granite in a Grecian needle design, it stands 65 feet tall and weighs 32,000 pounds. It is surrounded by 295 graves laid out in the shape of a five-point star, the symbol of the Grand Army of the Republic.

In addition to the Civil War stories, details will be provided about some of the more than 300 varieties of trees in the cemetery's arboretum.

Woodlawn has gained national recognition as an arboretum although it is not affiliated with a university, and no arbor studies are done in the cemetery. The cemetery's first superintendent, horticulturist Frank Eurich, created a mixture of rare and common, national and international. The 300 or so species of trees at Woodlawn represent a mix of varieties found in a typical Eastern deciduous woodland area.

Two of the guides for the tour have backgrounds in local history, and the third is a naturalist by hobby.

Mr. Folger, a retired high school history teacher and former instructor in the University of Toledo and Lourdes University continuing education programs, is a local speaker and storyteller. He is the tour guide for many area local historical sites, sharing his knowledge about and enthusiasm for local history.

Ms. Christian has more than 30 years' experience as a librarian in the local history and genealogy department, Toledo-Lucas County Public Library. A charter member and past president of the Toledo History Museum, she edits the Toledo History Museum Quarterly and is a guest speaker on genealogy and local history topics.

The base of the Civil War monument, dedicated in 1901, bears an inscription honoring the dead who served from 1861 to 1865. The granite monument  is surrounded by  295 graves laid out in the shape of a five-pointed star. The base of the Civil War monument, dedicated in 1901, bears an inscription honoring the dead who served from 1861 to 1865. The granite monument is surrounded by 295 graves laid out in the shape of a five-pointed star.
THE BLADE/JETTA FRASER Enlarge | Buy This Photo

Mr. Haney spent nearly 20 years on the staff of Woodlawn Cemetery as a third-generation cemeterian. He was in residence at the cemetery with his parents' family and his own family for 22 years. A naturalist by hobby, he has seen 199 species of birds in Woodlawn. He has spent time reviewing the trees in the cemetery, and he submitted what was named the state of Ohio champion, a purple-leafed European beech which towers above the grounds of Woodlawn.

The walking tour is to feature re-enactors Alana and Eileen Eddy of Toledo.

Alana, 16, a home-schooled high school junior, blends her interests in history, acting, and clothing during her re-enactments.

She makes historically correct bonnets, constructing her own frames as workers would have done in millinery shops in the 1800s. She plans to open an online store to market her bonnets, according to information provided by Mrs. Toneff.

Alana's mother, who shares the teen's interests in theater and clothing, makes many of Alana's costumes for theater as well as her own costumes. Alana's mother collects vintage clothing and has done costuming for local community theater groups.

The walking tour is to conclude with refreshments and an opportunity to talk with the guides and re-enactors.

The walking tour is free. Registration is requested by Friday by email to mail@historic-woodlawn.com or by calling 419-472-2186.



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