The past lives again

Oakland Cemetery Walk recalls a bit of Fort Dodge history

If last weekend’s Frontier Days festivities rekindled your interest in the early history of Fort Dodge, you won’t want to miss the annual Oakland Cemetery Walk to be held Saturday and Sunday.

Oakland Cemetery has been part of Fort Dodge history since the community’s earliest days. It wasn’t officially established until 1866, but burials there date back to 1851. The cemetery has the distinction of being on the National Register of Historic Places. Many of those for whom it is the final resting place have played important roles in the evolution of our town. That’s why for more than a decade, local actors have offered contemporary Fort Dodgers the opportunity to meet some of the men and women who shaped local history.

Among all the gravestones of various shapes, sizes and styles dotting the hills of Oakland Cemetery are tree-shaped monuments that mark the final resting places of some people. The folks whose graves are marked by those trees will be featured in this year’s Oakland Cemetery Walk.

This year, however, the walk won’t require anyone to stroll through the cemetery. Instead, costumed performers will offer two indoor presentations. The first of those will be at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Tompkins Celebration Center at Friendship Haven, 420 Kenyon Road. The second will be at 3 p.m. Sunday in the Opera House at the Fort Museum and Frontier Village.

Tickets will cost $7. Children under 10 will be admitted free. Re-enactors will portray 10 of the people memorialized at Oakland Cemetery.

Oakland Cemetery Walk an important, thought-provoking celebration of Fort Dodge history. Don’t miss this chance to meet some of the people who helped build our hometown.