Lantern Walk Attracts Second Largest Crowd

October 16, 2015 at 8:33 PM


Beecher Klingensmith as John Rumbarger

   On a perfect early fall evening, 300 people visited Rumbarger Cemetery during the DuBois Area Historical Society’s 8th Annual Spirit of DuBois Lantern Walk. Most of the participants were from the local area, but people from as far away as Harrisburg and Maryland were in attendance along with a Rumbarger family descendent, who came from Sharon.

     Those attending received what the Society intends from this project – a history lesson filled with entertainment. As was apparent by the turnout, the Society succeeded. Many of the participants were experiencing Rumbarger Cemetery, where over 1,800 DuBois residents were buried between 1877 and 2002, for the first time. They expressed amazement at the size of the cemetery, its monuments, and the stories of those buried there.

      One of the local participants summed it up best when he said, “I’ve lived here all of my life and I didn’t know any of the information presented tonight.”

      During Lantern Walk, groups of people go on a guided walk, this year originating at the atrium of Penn Highlands DuBois. The guide provides historic background while leading each group to 10 separate stops where performers in costume provide detailed history of an individual buried at Rumbarger Cemetery.


The cast from left:  Tom Shade, Levi Thompson, Mel Amrhein, Dave Clark, Carolyn Rhoades, Caleb Thompson, Beecher Klingensmith, and Sue Stapleton. Not in the photo are Darius Clement and Nancy Rosman.

      This year they encountered miner George Ainsley performed by Darius Clement; Civil War sharpshooter Private Franklin Rumbarger performed by Mel Amrhein; a Teenager performed by Levi Thompson; one of DuBois’ founders John Rumbarger performed by Beecher Klingensmith; Burgess (an early mayor) Ferman Kurtz performed by Dave Clark; nurse Bertha Davis performed by Nancy Rosman; Bobby the Bear performed by Caleb Thompson; Ann Jones, mother of DuBois born circus owner Johnny Jones, performed by Sue Stapleton; onetime cemetery owner Herbert Moore performed by Tom Shade; and a representative of the unknown graves performed by Carolyn Rhoades. Gene Aravich wrote the 2016 Lantern Walk script.

      Lantern Guides were Gene Aravich, Paul Bojalad, Galen Kilmer, Ginny and Tom Schott, and Todd Thompson. Accompanying the tours: Gene Aravich, Jeanne Hayes, Susie Shaffer, Isaac Shaffer, Cathi and Joe Skubisz, and Jerry Watson.

      “The DuBois Area Historical Society is excited by the support the community has shown to this event,” said Tom Schott, chair of the Lantern Walk. “We were pleased by the number of young people, 22 children grade six or younger, and 14 students from grade seven through college, who attended.  The Society is proud to provide this program suitable for the entire family.”


Carol Laughlin (left) representing both the DuBois Area Historical Society and the Rumbarger Preservation Association with 1,500th Lantern Walk participant Mike Solensky.

    Recognizing that community support, the Society acknowledged Mike Solensky of DuBois, when he became the 1,500th person to take the Lantern Walk since 2008. He was presented with a bag of DuBois Area Historical Society gift items.

      The committee, which started planning this event in January included:  Society President Ruth Gregori, Karen Amrhein, Mel Amrhein, Gene Aravich, Paul Bojalad, Galen Kilmer, Beecher Klingensmith, Carolyn Rhoades, Nancy Rosman, Tom and Ginny Schott, and Todd Thompson.

      Assisting at the walk were: Kathleen Clement, Ruth Gregori, Jean Hayes, Kristin Henniger, Lance Henniger, and Sarah Henniger, Carol Laughlin, George Reilly, Mary Reilly, Cherie Shannon, Hannah Thompson, and Susan Thompson.

      Carol and Denny Laughlin, Mel Amrhein, Carolyn Fridley, Melanie McGinnis, John Micks, and Dena Senior represented the Rumbarger Cemetery Preservation Society. 

      Special assistance and support for the Lantern Walk was provided by:  the City of DuBois, Penn Highlands DuBois, Prontock Distributors, Rumbarger Cemetery Preservation Society, S & T Bank, and Scotty’s Donuts.

       Providing items for the silent auction held in conjunction with the walk were:  Hockman’s Candy, Shankel’s Pharmacy, Janet Burnside, Deb Gregori, Carol Laughlin, Walmart, Ruth Gregori, and Rumbarger Cemetery Preservation Society.

       Silent auction winners included:  Melissa Varischetti, Denise Laukitis, Mary Jo Yebernetsky, Jenny Shick, Cherie Shannon, Carolyn Rhoades, Mindy Berth, Diane Bernardo, Joelle Leech, Michelle Smith, Gwen Means, John Averill, Ruth Pearce, and Mary Petrich. Brian Leech was the winner of the 50/50 drawing.

       The DuBois Area Historical Society will conclude its 2015 activities with a fundraiser all day Oct. 23 at Italian Oven; and a program by guest speaker Emory Miller, a World War II veteran, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. at the historical society museum. Miller’s program is free and open to all.


Mel Amrhein as Prvt. Franklin Rumbarger


Darius Clement as George Ainsley


Levi Thompson as the Teenager


Dave Clark as Burgess Ferman Kuntz


Nancy Rosman as Bertha Davis


Caleb Thompson as Bobby the Bear


Sue Stapleton as Ann Jones


Tom Shade as Herbert Moore


Carolyn Rhoades representing the Unknown Graves

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