Walking tour of Riverside Cemetery slated for Oct. 7

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO The Marshalltown Public Library is hosting a walking tour of Riverside Cemetery on Saturday, Oct. 7 from 10-11:30 a.m. The event is free and open to the public, aged 18 and older. Riverside Cemetery General Manager Dorie Tammen will share stories about some of the cemetery’s lesser known residents.

Riverside Cemetery is home to 23,000 buried souls — each with his or her unique story. The Marshalltown Public Library is hosting a free walking tour of the cemetery, which will take place Saturday, Oct. 7 from 10-11:30 a.m., in an attempt to educate the public about this history-rich locale.

“Cemetery General Manager Dorie Tammen will bring to life stories of some well-known and some unknown residents of Marshalltown’s historic cemetery,” said Librarian Katie Fink. “This tour will feature different people and stories than the previous tours we’ve hosted did, so be sure to attend.”

Participants will meet at 10 a.m. at the cemetery’s office, then Tammen will take folks out for the tour.

“I love history and my hometown of Marshalltown,” Tammen said. “I find the stories of the people buried here to be fascinating, and I love sharing them with the community. These were living, breathing human beings, and we should know something about them. I think it’s good to know who and where we came from — as a community — and how our city developed and grew.”

The focus of the tour will be burial sections towards the west of Lake Woodmere (for the sake of cutting down on how far attendees will have to traverse the grounds). Topics will include: the Chorn pioneer family; the plot where bodies were brought from the Iowa Veterans Home, Abbie Gifford, who was a teacher and early female superintendent of the Marshalltown schools, early city doctor Elizabeth Spears Gillette, the GAR plot (including where former slaves Thomas Cottomas and Josiah French are buried) and much more.

While the tour will be leisurely and last about an hour and a half, participants are encouraged to continue exploring the grounds after the tour ends.

For more information, contact the library’s Information Desk at: 641-754-5738 ext. 4.


Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at 641-753-6611 or sjordan@timesrepublican.com