Actors recreate history for cemetery tour; Sumner County Museum raising money for relocation

Posted at 2:30 PM, Oct 02, 2019

GALLATIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Sumner County Museum is recreating history to help raise money for its upcoming relocation.

The museum is hosting a tour of the Gallatin Cemetery on Saturday from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 day-of and $12 in advance.

Money raised will go towards the cost of general museum operations and relocating to another location, which will run about $1 million. They have to move a large number of artifacts, some of which is estimated to date back thousands of years.

The tour is one of the city's most popular events, brining in more than 1600 people in 2018.

Kyle Horan spoke with one of the actors involved in the tour. Katlyn Clifton is portraying Flora Head Vertres, a woman who lived during the 19th century, married a doctor and was college educated.

"I love the idea to being able to bring to life some of these characters in real time," she said. "Sumner County's history is rich. Gallatin's history is rich. This is a very old cemetery. It's very beautiful and there are a lot of interesting people laid to rest here."

The Sumner County Historian, Ken Thomson, writes the scripts for all of the characters in the tour. He said he's chosen over 200 characters in the tour's 23 year history.

Each year it becomes more popular. It's important to further the mission of preserving the county's history.

"The goal is to expand the museum," he said.

Two buildings were donated to the museum and the planning stage is underway for how to expand to the new space.

"We've got thousands and thousands of pieces of Sumner County history just close to the downtown area," said Sumner County Museum Director Ryan Baker.

The current museum is concealed from the main road by another building. The new donated buildings are a historic house built in the 1830s and an old carriage house. Both will eventually be remodeled and prepared to expand the museum.

The museum relies on donors and fundraisers to keep it afloat.

The museum has more information about the tour on its website.