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Rising at Dellwood Cemetery

On July 15, nine notable people from Manchester’s illustrious past treated a large gathering of approximately 130 people to a “rising from the dead” with each of the nine telling their story to a very receptive audience.

The collaboration between the Manchester Historical Society (MHS), the Dellwood Cemetery Association and The Dorset Players brought to life a living glimpse into the lives of just a few people of Manchester who created the fabric of how Manchester developed as a town.

Todd Hjelt as Walter R. Hard, poet, owner of Hard’s Drugs (Johnny Appleseed Bookstore); Jon Matthewson as the well-known artist Ogden Pleissner; Janet Groom portrayed Clara Sipprell, an early photographer who lived a Bohemian lifestyle; Leslie Bremner as Mary Orvis Marbury, early fly tier and author, who helped build the C.F. Orvis Co. to a larger, prominent audience; Todd Houston portrayed the long-time manager of the Equinox House, Andrew E. Martin; Susan Altoft as Susan Roberts Miner, who helped establish St. John’s Chapel in Manchester Village and was a published storyteller of early daily life; Dick Smith aptly played Capt. Samuel E. Burnham, Company E 5th Regiment, Equinox Guards during the Civil War; Serenus Swift, an early lawyer, was played by a descendant Paul Thompson; and last but not least, Debby Goldman, gave insight to Icy Palmer, a Tuscarora Indian, who was Manchester’s first welfare case.

I was privileged to be a part of this event for the third time to enlist and costume The Players mentioned above. I wish to thank MSH’s Shawn Harrington for his wealth of knowledge and assistance to the actors, Kim Rizio and Superintendent Kurt Baccei from The Dellwood Cemetery – Kim for just about everything and Kurt and his staff for such a beautiful cemetery, Hildene’s jitney service, Ekwanok’s golf carts, all the volunteer drivers and greeters who helped make this a successful evening, and Hoss Wuerslin from GNAT who filmed the presentations which will eventually become Time Stamps on the MHS website www.manchesterhistoricalsocietyvt.org.

And, a big thank you to our audience.

See you at The Playhouse.

Suzi Dorgeloh,

The Dorset Players


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