A cemetery with over 160 years of history is bound to be filled with interesting stories and important life lessons.  One local cemetery has created a way to keep those stories and lessons alive to this day.

Moline Parks and Recreation is hosting their annual ‘Echoes from Riverside’ on Saturday Sep 29 at Riverside Cemetery (2900 6th Avenue Moline). This one of a kind walk down memory lane brings some the area’s earliest citizens and their stories to life for all to hear. You will find a common theme in the stories you are presented- Unfortunate Endings.

Tickets for this event will be available for purchase on Saturday at the Riverside Chapel Mausoleum, near the cemetery entrance. The cost of tickets are $5 per person (12 and under are free). All ticket proceeds raised will go into the principal protected perpetual care fund to help support Moline’s cemeteries.

Tours will begin at 1 p.m. Groups will leave every 15 minutes after that, with the last tour leaving at 3 p.m. Metro bus will provide transportation to the top of the hill where the guided walking tour begins. The walking tour will last approximately 1.5 hours and may include some uneven terrain. The cemetery is closed to all vehicles throughout the duration of this event.

Actors and guides that consist of retirees, city employees (and their families), as well as other professions, will be accompanying the groups through their educational and enjoyable walking tours. Local costumed thespians will be sharing the stories that many have never heard. The youngest actor to ever portray a character, Elly Huhn (Bettendorf), is a 12-year-old counting down the days to her 13th birthday. She is a 7th grader at Pleasant Valley Junior High that not only got her first taste of acting this past summer in James and the Giant Peach (Pleasant Valley High School) but was also an Iowa Opus Honor Choir member.

‘Echoes from Riverside’ began back in 1995. This historical cemetery walk was encapsulated in 2009 in the book ‘Echoes from Riverside Cemetery: Moline, Illinois’, written by Kathleen Seusy, Diann Moore, Curtis C. Roseman and Regena Schantz. Todd Slater, the Moline Parks and Recreation Department’s Cemetery Manager (since 1991) shares, “If you love to take walks — and you love history — and you love beautiful views of the Mississippi River— you will enjoy this program”.

Join this effort to preserve the memories and accomplishments of those who have preceded us.

Tess Abney is a writer and artist from the Quad-Cities who enjoys writing on a variety of topics for QuadCities.com.