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Attention to detail, genealogy key to Greenwood lantern tour

By Walter Geiger Period clothing and portrayals by bonafide descendants will be the hallmarks of the Lantern Tour of Greenwood Cemetery Nov. 5. Proceeds from the tour will go toward restoration efforts at the historic burial ground. An example of the tour’s commitment to authenticity are the plans for the portrayal at the plot of Josiah and Amelia Holmes. Josiah Holmes was one of the original settlers of Barnesville along with Gideon Barnes, whose names the town bears, and Willis John Milner. The fathers of both Josiah and Amelia were captains in the Colonial Army during the Revolutionary War. Josiah and Amelia were born in North Carolina in 1788 and 1796, respectively. Both died here; Josiah as the Civil War wound down in 1865 and Amelia in 1872. The family gave the land for the first Methodist Episcopal Church which was located where the county courthouse now stands. They also gave the land for the current First Methodist Church. Josiah and Amelia donated the land for – and helped build – the community’s first school which morphed over the years into Gordon Institute, Gordon Military College and, ultimately, Gordon State College. In addition to being buried in Greenwood Cemetery, they donated the original four acres where the cemetery had its beginnings. Victoria (Vicki) Graves will portray Amelia for tour goers. She is the great-great-great granddaughter of Josiah and Amelia. Joining her for the family plot portrayal will be two more generations; her son, Chris Groen of Alpharetta and his daughters Maddie, 11, and Ellie, 9. Vicki will be attired in ‘˜widow’s weeds’, black mourning clothes of the 1870s. The children will wear print dresses with pinafores, also accurate to the 1870s. Tours will be conducted at 3:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Tickets, which are $25 each and selling fast, are available at the chamber of commerce office. Attendees will meet for drinks and hors d’oeuvres at the Depot and be transported to the cemetery via golf cart. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 770-358-5884.

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