A walk through the tombstones

Deanna Bohn
Belle Vista Cemetery Tour attendees in 2019 listen as a reenactor Tom Penning brings the story of Nathan Frazier to life.

This time of year brings trips to pumpkin patches, apple orchards and haunted houses. However, a fun and unique alternative is to take a cemetery tour.

The next two weekends there is a chance to talk to the dead — sort of — at Sunset Lawns Cemetery.  It's not creepy, nor macabre. It is historical.

The Butler County Historical Center Home of the Kansas Oil Museum is hosting their annual event  leading up to Halloween with the final tours coming Oct. 16 and 23.

There are two primary cemeteries in El Dorado; Sunset Lawn and Belle Vista.

A dispute has existed as to which cemetery is oldest but it is likely that Sunset Lawn is the oldest with its first burial documented in 1872.

The tours in 2019 were held in Belle Vista Cemetery and there were no tours in 2020.

This year, the tours focus on Sunset Lawns Cemetery. Guests are invited to walk back in time, accompanied by a tour guide, to listen to reenactors of prominent El Dorado and Butler County figures as they tell their stories.

Tours will be held at 4:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and 6:30 p.m. and are limited to twenty participants each tour.

Tickets are available with a $10 donation per person and must be obtained in advance, in person, at the Butler County Historical Society Home of the Kansas Oil Museum located at 383 E Central, or by calling (316)321-9333.

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