cemetery

Voices of the Past characters rehearse for historical interpretive tours on Wednesday at Mount Mora Cemetery. The tours include impersonators of famous St. Joseph people buried at the cemetery.

Mount Mora Cemetery is expecting to be filled next week for the 18th annual St. Joseph Museums Voices of the Past interpretive tours.

The tours feature historical St. Joseph characters who have impacted the city in a certain way. This year's theme is Extraordinarily Extraordinary people who left their legacies. 

Kathy Reno, marketing and public relations officer for St. Joseph Museums, said every year is different and gives guests intriguing stories while they experience unique architecture.  

"There are 21 mausoleums and we always do the voices along Mausoleum Row," Reno said. 

All of the characters featured each year are either buried in the cemetery or have some relation to someone buried there. 

"Sometimes the characters that aren't buried here say they're just here to visit and they'll tell you the story from that perspective," Reno said. 

They keep the characters a secret, but some of featured ones this year include a famous writer, a merchant and socialites from the golden ages. 

All of the actors are volunteers who resemble the age and appearance of the person they're impersonating. 

"We try to look and pick out people in the community who can play that time period," Reno said. 

This year the characters are all buried in the mausoleums on the main row and will be standing next to their specific site for the tour. 

Reno said the tours sell out every year due to the beauty and historic draw it has on the community. 

"You get stories that you've never heard before even if you've grown up here," Reno said. 

They have five tours with two on Thursday, Oct. 17, at 6 and 7 p.m., and three on Friday, Oct. 18, at 6 , 7 and 8 p.m.

They have limited space, but tickets are still available on the St. Joseph Museums website or by calling them at (816) 232-8471

Bailey Ketcham can be reached at bailey.ketcham@newspressnow.com.