A walk through time: The 16th annual cemetery walk

North Central UP

MARQUETTE, Mich (WJMN) – After a rainout last week, the Marquette Regional History Center’s annual cemetery walk was in full force. People gathered to learn about seven people whose impact on Marquette is still being talked about today.

One of the seven people talked about during the walk was Silas C. “Whetstone” Smith

“Tonight we are going to be talking about Silas Whetstone Smith came up here in the mid-1840s and there wasn’t really even anything at the harbor yet, and he talked the ship captain into just leaving him here for the summer,” Beth Gruber the research librarian for the John M. Longyear research library said. “He had the nickname Whetstone, and what Stonebrook was named because of him and his efforts that he tried mining wet stones for sharpening blades from rock at along the river.”


This year, some additional tour options were added in order to open the tour up to more people.

“This year we have three different options,” Gruber said. “This afternoon we did self-guided tours so people could walk around on their own. This evening we’ve got the guided tour, and then also this evening for the first time we’re going to have a seated tour for people who don’t have the mobility to get around to all of the graves. They can sit here by the gate and we’ll have somebody read the stories to them.”

Each year the cemetery walk is alternated between Park Cemetery and Holy Cross Cemetery, which is where it will be next year.

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