Parkites from the past live again during the Glenwood Cemetery tours | ParkRecord.com
YOUR AD HERE »

Parkites from the past live again during the Glenwood Cemetery tours

Registration now open for Oct. 1 events

Glenwood Cemetery Story Tour

  • When: 10:45 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1
  • Where: Glenwood Cemetery, located at the end of Silver King Drive, near the intersection of Silver King Drive and Three Kings Drive.
  • Cost: $20 per person
  • Registration: Diane Knispel at 435-574-9554 or Lexy Hartford at 435-429-6175
  • Web: parkcityhistory.org
The Park City Museum will host two Glenwood Cemetery tours that will feature docents dressed in period costumes standing at gravesites to talk about those who are buried there.
Courtesy of the Park City Museum

The dead will rise again to tell their stories on Oct. 1.

The Park City Museum’s annual Glenwood Cemetery tours will feature volunteers and actors dressed in period costumes standing at gravesites to talk about and sometimes act out the lives of those buried underneath.

There will be two tours scheduled this year. The first will run from 10:45 p.m. to noon, and the other is slated for 12:45 p.m. to 2 p.m., said Diane Knispel, Park City Museum education director.



The Glenwood Cemetery is located at the end of Silver King Drive, near the intersection of Silver King Drive and Three Kings Drive.

I like to tell people that the tours are appropriate for ages 10 and older, because some of the stories are morbid and horrendous…” Diane Knispel, Park City Museum education director

Each tour can accommodate up to 105 people, who will be divided into seven groups, she said.



“There are seven graves, and they will kind of be like stations,” Knispel said. “So a docent will put each group at a different grave. When the presentations are done, the docent will help the groups get to their next graves.”

Each presentation takes about five minutes, and there will be a few minutes between presentations for the groups to move on to the next grave, according to Knispel.

Park City Museum docents will take on the roles of those buried in the Glenwood Cemetery during the Oct. 1 tours.
Courtesy of the Park City Museum

“Participants should come to the tours prepared to walk on uneven ground,” she said. “I would suggest they wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a water bottle. And no dogs are allowed in the cemetery.”

In case of inclement weather, a rain date for the event has been scheduled for the next day on Sunday, Oct. 2. 

“A little bit of rain is OK, but some time ago, pre-pandemic, we had pouring rain and lightning,  and it wasn’t safe because of all the trees,” Knispel said. “So now we do a back-up date only if it is so bad we can’t do anything on Oct.1.”

This year’s theme is “The Mishaps and Misadventures of Glenwood’s Residents,” and it will spotlight the following residents who lived in Park City between the late 1880s and early 1900s:

  • John Simpson Gibson, who died in a mining elevator accident.
  • Nellie Dunsmore, whose family was involved in a series of shootings.
  • Rosetta Crowley, whose husband was one of 35 miners who died in the Daly West mine explosion of 1902.
  • John Donohue, whose family had a drowning.
  • Phillip Spargo, whose brother Nicholas died in a wagon accident while on his way to a funeral.
  • Ann Wilcox, who had a family member succumb to an accidental overdose after surviving the Great Fire of 1898.
  • Elizabeth Cargeeg, whose son Frank badly hurt his leg in a mining elevator accident and suffered from the injury for the rest of his life.

“I like to tell people that the tours are appropriate for ages 10 and older, because some of the stories are morbid and horrendous,” Knispel said. “But it’s also up to the parents to decide what is appropriate for their kids. I just want them to keep in mind that life was not easy back then, and these people went through a lot.”

The information used for the docents’ scripts comes from the Hal Compton Research Library at the Park City Museum, according to Knispel.

“We also access old Park Record archives, and see if we can match up people’s obituaries,” she said. “Sometimes descendants and family members will give us information and we’ll use those as well.”

The museum has a writing committee that turns the information into scripts, Knispell said.

“We also go through a lot of scripts from the past, and we rewrite them to make sure the history and research is correct,” she said. 

Different themes are decided each year, depending on trends the researchers find.

Groups of tourists watch and listen as a Park City Museum docent tells and acts out a story about a Parkite who is buried at the Glenwood Cemetery.
Courtesy of the Park City Museum

“This time around we discovered that there were a lot of accidents that claimed the lives of many people buried in the cemetery, so we decided to focus on the accidents,” she said.

A finished script is double-checked for accuracy and then handed over to volunteers a month or a month-and-a-half before the event, Knispel said.

“They’ll go over it and memorize it,” she said. “Then they will start pulling their costumes together.”

One of the museum’s board members has a personal costume collection that is unrelated to the museum, according to Knispel.

“We send our volunteers over there if they need a costume, because we don’t use any vintage clothing in our collection,” she said. “As a museum, we protect items like historic clothes. I mean, if someone spills something on them or damages them, it would be detrimental.”

Volunteers then gather for a rehearsal once the costumes are set, and the scripts are memorized.

The event is a way to raise awareness and funds for the Glenwood Cemetery, which was established by local fraternal orders. They purchased the land so their members and families would have a place to be buried, according to Knispel.

“Many of the members were miners. Joining fraternal organizations gave miners and their families security by providing life and health insurance that the mines did not,” she said. “One of those insurances was arranging for burial in the Glenwood, and there are still a lot of people who don’t know the cemetery is here.”  


Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Park City and Summit County make the Park Record's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.