Lantern Walk Draws Large Attendance

October 25, 2009 at 10:51 PM



Lantern Spirits included top from left:  Emily Speicher as the beaver, Tom Shade as Thomas Edison, Beecher Klingensmith as James Cherry, and Carli Jones as Dee Matthews; bottom from left:  Denise Delp as the bus station clerk, Mayor John “Herm” Suplizio as the mayor, Kathy Foulrod as Mrs. Sidney Fulmer and Rev. Mark Montgomery as Rev. M.E. Hare, and All 4 Fun Barber Shop Quartet.

            A historic week of cold weather failed to discourage the residents of the DuBois area from learning about the community’s history during the Second DuBois Area Historical Society Spirit of DuBois Lantern Walk.

            Over 90 people made advance reservations for the walks, which took place on a damp and cold Saturday evening. Walk-ins brought attendance to nearly 150 by time the evening ended with seven tours being conducted. The initial Spirit of DuBois Lantern Walk drew 175 people in 2008 on a night that was colder, but dryer.

            Those attending learned about DuBois’ by meeting eight “Spirits” of DuBois’ past, who related interesting stories about their experiences. The program placed some focus on the ethnic groups, who helped make DuBois what it is today. The “Spirits” included:

            A beaver from the Beaver Meadow played by Emily Spicher, this year’s mascot for the DuBois Area High School Cheerleaders.

            A 1920s mayor played by John “Herm” Suplizio, current mayor of DuBois.

            Thomas Edison played by Tom Shade. Edison visited DuBois in 1922 to see the electrical system used to run the trolley line and stayed at the Logan Hotel.

            James Cherry played by Beecher Klingensmith. Cherry is the patriarch to a family of lawyers, doctors, and judges, but he earned his living as a shoemaker. The Cherry family helped with information for this monologue.

            Rev. M. E. Hare played by Rev. Mark Montgomery, pastor of First Baptist Church, DuBois, and Mrs. Sidney Fulmer played by Kathy Foulkrod. In front of what is currently Bethany Covenant Church, they explained how that building started out as a church, became an opera house that hosted the likes of John Phillip Sousa, before reverting to its origins as a church again.

            A ticket seller at the bus station played by Denise Delp. The bus station was at the current site of the DuBois Public Library.

            The owner of Beer Music Store, also formerly in the current library site, with words from Paul Ramsey, who also joined with his barbershop quartet , All 4 Fun, which includes Joe Kruckow, Kirby Nupp, and Jeff Hetrick, in the singing of several songs.

            Delores “Dee” Matthews played by Carli Jones, also a cheerleader for DuBois Area High School. Mathews was among the first Black residents of DuBois and went on to teach at Columbia University in New York City. Jones spoke the words written by Dee Matthews for the Lantern Walk about growing up in DuBois.

            The Lantern Walk guides were Shawn Deemer, Mike Gressler, Galen Kilmer, and Todd Thompson; with Gene Aravich, Jeanne Hayes, Rob Peoples, and Jerry Watson accompanying the tours.

            The committee, who started planning the Lantern Walk in January, were:  Evo Facchine, Gene Aravich, Tim Gearhart, Jean Hayes, Galen Kilmer, Beecher Klingensmith, Rob Peoples, Tom Schott, Virginia Schott, and Todd Thompson. Aravich, Hayes, Peoples, Tom Schott, and Thompson, researched and wrote the script for the Lantern Walk.

            The Third Annual DuBois Area Historical Society Spirit of DuBois Lantern Walk is scheduled for Oct. 16, 2010.

Category: News