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Voices from the Past
Saturday, October 07, 2017, 10:00am - 12:00pm

It's sunset, the time of day when visitors to the Virginia City Cemetery typically start clearing out for the night. But one evening last week, the fading sunlight fell on about a dozen people dressed in a mixture of turn-of-the-century and modern clothes. It was the dress rehearsal for Voices of the Past, a ghostly walking tour performed by Funtime Theater to raise funds for the cemetery's restoration.
Candace Wheeler, who works for the Comstock Cemetery Foundation, wrote the script, and the Funtime Theater actors make it a reality. Playing the "spirits" of prominent Virginia City residents buried in the cemetery, they talk about various aspects of everyday life in a mining town, from firefighting to medical care to the challenges women faced.
Voices of the Past is a walking tour--emphasis on walking. The cemetery's uneven, sandy slopes could be difficult for some to navigate, and the tour moves along at a brisk pace. Fortunately, the actual tour takes place during the day; it might be a little less spooky than a nighttime visit. Still, it's a good idea to bring comfortable walking shoes--and a camera to capture the scenic views of Virginia City and the cemetery's old gravestones.
The Comstock Cemetery Foundation, established in 2000 as a non-profit organization, collects donations to help protect and restore cemetery sites and old photographs of the cemeteries. It also aids in the return of items that have been removed from cemeteries. Judging from the yellow caution tape and run-down condition of some of the graves, the foundation has its work cut out; there's still plenty of restoration that needs to be done.
By the time the tour ends, twilight has fallen on the cemetery, and the actors head back to change into their 21st-century clothes.  A fresh and unconventional approach to local history, Voices From the Past is educational entertainment for a good cause.

Reserve your spot and purchase tickets here. 

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