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Culture 0

‘History Comes Alive’ in Fayetteville in December


Some of Fayetteville’s most famous former residents will tell stories from their remarkable lives on Saturday, Dec. 10 at Fayetteville’s Evergreen Cemetery.

Well, sorta.

The stories will actually be delivered by actors from local troupe, The Artist’s Laboratory Theatre, who will play seven prominent figures from the history of the city that are buried in the storied local cemetery at an event titled History Comes Alive.

The company, who has been researching local history for weeks, will tell stories from the lives of Roberta Fulbright, Peter VanWinkle, Sophia Sawyer, Stephen Stone, Adeline Blakely, A.S. Vandeventer, and Archibald Yell in their original performance piece.

The event is a fundraiser for the cemetery, located at the corner of West Center Street and North University Avenue, which dates back to the early 1840s.

Evergreen director Marilyn Heffner said she is hoping to raise enough money for several repairs and improvements needed at the cemetery, including restoration of the historic Archibald Yell monument which has fallen into disrepair.

Restoring the monument will cost around $18,000, Heffner said, but she thinks the investment will be well worth it.

“It’s a beautiful cemetery, and it’s an important part of our history,” she said. “We are working hard to bring awareness to it, and bring it back to its former glory.”

Evergreen Cemetary is full of history to tell. It is the final resting place of the second governor of Arkansas (Yell), four members of Congress, and several former presidents of the University of Arkansas, among other important historical figures.

History Comes Alive organizers decided to focus on the lives of the seven figures mentioned above for their first performance event because of the way they each uniquely helped shape the city, and in some cases, the state of Arkansas.

Yell, for example was the second ever Governor of the state, and a congressman. He left congress to fight in the Mexican-American war, where he died in 1847.

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Dustin Bartholomew is the co-founder of Fayetteville Flyer, an online publication covering all things news, art and life in Fayetteville, Arkansas since 2007. A graduate of the Department of English at the University of Arkansas and a lifelong resident of the area, he still lives in east Fayetteville with his son Hudson, daughter Evelyn, his wife Brandy, and his two dogs Lily and Steve. On occasion, he tickles the ivories in a local band called The Good Fear.

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