400-plus attend Ghost Walk at Mount Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 September 2019 at 9:04 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Olivia Miller, an Albion High School student, portrays the wife of C. Royce Sawyer, a 30-year member of the Dye Hose Company (Albion Fire Department).

As fire chief, he worked to have the entire company motorized. Albion was the 2nd department in the state to become motorized, after New York City. He was also the county treasurer and was commissioned during World War I, and served as the finance officer of Camp Sheridan in Alabama.

Albion High School students portrayed 16 people at the cemetery in 11th annual Ghost Walk. After heavy rain in late afternoon, the downpour stopped just in time for the Ghost Walk. There were 56 students involved in the event, with others serving as guides, in the tech crew, and with singing along the route.

The event is coordinated by Susan Starkweather Miller, and teacher Gary Simboli and Mike Thaine. Many of the attendees have attended all of the Ghost Walks at the cemetery.

Ashleigh Mowatt portrays Mary Signor, wife of Isaac Signor, who served as district attorney and judge in Orleans County. He also wrote the book, Landmarks of Orleans County, which remains an importance resource for historians. He helped establish the Swan Library and taught immigrant quarry workers to read and write. Albion Central School continues to give out an annual Signor Prize to recognize students for their rhetorical work.

Jeffrey Brown is David Jones of Kendall, who developed the very popular “Delusion” mouse trap, which topped 2 million sales in 1878. Jeffrey is holding a Delusion mouse trap on loan by retired County Historian Bill Lattin.

Zoe Cusson is the wife of Sidney Eddy who was in the ambulance corps during World War I. He was stationed in France and was an ambulance driver, putting himself and his Model T in danger as he transported the wounded from the front lines to hospital.

Emily Mergler portrays Anna Dann Mason who was Susan B. Anthony’s housekeeper and personal secretary. Mergler is wearing the sash, “Votes for Women,” that was popular with suffragettes.

Mason was married in Anthony’s parlor and the famous women’s rights leader was her maid of honor. Mason’s husband, Gilbert Mason, lived in Albion. Mason was a new person to be featured on the Ghost Walk.

Other new characters included George Bullard (played by Ryan Krenning), a former NYS Assemblyman who donated 24 acres of land to the Village of Albion it what is known as Bullard Park; and Hank Porter (portrayed by McKenzie Olmstead), an Albion graduate, worked for Walt Disney and created illustrations for the full length film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

Porter also updated the image of Donald Duck, was responsible for the “Disney” design, and sketched numerous emblems and insignias for all military branches to be used on war planes, tanks, and ships. It built comradery and identity with the troops.

Molly Wadhams portrays Emma Hunt who was working as a housekeeper when she was murdered in 1894 by William Lake, a farmhand who confessed to the crime. He was the seventh person to executed by the electric chair at Auburn State Prison. Zachary Kilner portrayed Sheriff John Rice, who put together a posse to apprehend Lake, who was on the lam.

Olivia Morrison plays Sarah Harling, who took in Robert Capstick, a down and out Civil War soldier. He gave her his prized possession, a George Washington button, for taking him in and nursing him back to health when he was so destitute. Harling holds the actual button, which was on loan from Bill Lattin, the retired county historian.

Emma Tower is Alice Wilson who was killed by her husband in 1887, who was having an affair with a much younger woman. George Wilson was the only man executed in Orleans County. He was hanged outside the courthouse in 1888.

Chase Froman portrays Charles Howard, who opened a Santa Claus School in 1937 and ran it until his death in 1966. Howard also opened Christmas Park which included many attractions and a toy shop. He was the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Santa and a consultant on the movie, Miracle on 34th Street.

Gina Fox plays the mother of Charles Nelson Brown, a professional baseball player who suffered from severe depression. Fox, in her role as Brown’s mother, regrets her son took his own life in 1910.

Myleigh Miller portrayed Virginia Sheret, and told the story of brothers James, Andrew and Eugene Sheret as their Company F broke through the Hindenberg Line. Two of her brothers paid the ultimate price for their efforts. The Legion Post in Albion is named for them.

Sophia Zambito highlighted the Barnum brothers – Eugene and William – and their service in WWII. She portrayed their gold star mother, Florence.

Casey Starkweather portrayed Emma Ingersoll who donated the water fountain and bench to Mount Albion Cemetery.

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