25th Annual Historical Cemetery Tour reimagined virtually

There will be no historical cemetery presentations this year, no actors dressed in 20th-century garb to tell the stories of the people whose memorable actions have shaped local history, no tours or sidestepping gravesites, at least not in person. No, this year, the Historical Society of Long Beach will put on its 25th annual Historical Cemetery Tour virtually, with a video weaving together the tales told during the 24 tours of the past, the ones allowed to happen before the pandemic altered just about everyone’s grand plans for the spooky month of October.

It was in 1996 that the society’s first tour was held, started by then-HSLB president Barbara Barnes and retired librarian and author Claudine Burnett (watch below). Over the past 24 years, the tour has become HSLB’s most significant fundraising event, drawing more than 1,000 people to Long Beach Municipal Cemetery and Sunnyside Cemetery on the last Saturday of October to witness actors performing the stories of those long passed.

This year’s virtual tour takes 234 historical images, postcards, maps and documents provided by HSLB and stories from past cemetery tours to form a 90-minute piece on 20th century Long Beach, from local cemetery history and women’s suffrage to prohibition, the depression, World War II and more. The film, “From Seaside Resort to International City: The Story of Long Beach Lives in its Cemeteries” will be released Friday, Oct. 30 and can be watched, as many times as you’d like, through Friday, Nov. 13.

Proceeds will benefit the HSLB, which works to preserve local history—through collections, exhibitions and programming—in an effort to connect people to the past and express what makes Long Beach so uniquely Long Beach. For more information and to purchase a pass, visit hslb.org.

Support our journalism.

Hyperlocal news is an essential force in our democracy, but it costs money to keep an organization like this one alive, and we can’t rely on advertiser support alone. That’s why we’re asking readers like you to support our independent, fact-based journalism. We know you like it—that’s why you’re here. Help us keep hyperlocal news alive in Long Beach.

Asia Morris has been with the Long Beach Post for five years, specializing in coverage of the arts. Her parents gave her the name because they wanted her to be a world traveler and they got their wish. She has obliged by pursuing art, journalism and a second career as a competitive cyclist.
- ADVERTISEMENT -

More