Sparkle! in Norcross continues this weekend with a number of activities, including the free History Tour of the Norcross City Cemetery and the Celebration of Lights.
The tour, located on Cemetery Street across from downtown Norcross, will start at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, with tales on some of the notable people among the several hundreds buried in the graveyard. Some of the interesting stories will cover:
- Civil War soldiers, including one of Norcross' earliest settlers, S.T. McElroy
- Clarke Jones, a 10-year-old boy who was a Civil War casualty, shot in a crossfire
- “Doc” Lively, a former mayor who died of a shotgun blast on Christmas Day in 1915
- Edward Buchanan, a one-time millionaire who died with $75 to his name
- Ivy Wingo and Roy Carlyle, major league baseball players from Norcross who still hold records today
- T T Twitty, a local preacher who died as a result of his last sermon
Historian Gene Ramsay, who's been giving tours of Atlanta's Oakland Cemetery since the 1980s, will be running the Norcross tour Saturday. He explained that, once he started working on the Norcross' first pictorial book, "Images of America: Norcross" with co-authors Cate Kitchen and Edie Riehm, he did research on the cemetery and the people there, and worked up the material to give a tour.
"I enjoy learning about the history of a place, and telling the stories of some of the people who came before us," said Ramsay. "There were some interesting things that happened in previous days that most people don't know much about."
The tour ends at 5:30 p.m., which will then signal the Celebration of Lights with hundreds of luminaries to remember all those who have passed away. Having been a tradition for years, the lighting started in memory of the 1995 death of Denise Payne, the daughter of former Norcross City Councilman Barry Payne.
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