On April 2, 2011, the Riverport Ambassadors, a group dedicated to promoting tourism and interpreting the history of Jefferson, Texas, will be conducting a narrated dramatic tour of Old Oakwood Cemetery, one of Texas’ and Southeast U.S.A.’s most interesting final resting places. At five gravesites, actors in period costume will dramatize biographies and events that made the lives of those buried within both significant and interesting. This dramatization will be in conjunction with the fiftieth anniversary celebration of the Jessie Allen Wise Garden Club’s ownership of the historic Excelsior Hotel.
Tours begin April 2, 2011 between 5:30 and 6:15pm
at the main entrance of the Old Oakwood Cemetery.
Five vignettes will be featured:
Diamond Bessie (1854 – 1877) immortalized by the drama that has been viewed to sellout audiences for over fifty years, The Diamond Bessie Murder Trial. Diamond Bessie, a New York manufacturer’s daughter turned prostitute, was murdered in Jefferson at age 23.
German immigrants Kate Woods and daughter Amelia arrived in Jefferson in 1877 and purchased the Excelsior Hotel.
Bad guys Jesse Robinson and Bill Rose killed each other in a gun fight in 1871, and are buried handcuffed together in the same grave.
Jessie Allen Wise, historic Jefferson icon, for whom the Excelsior Hotel’s owner, the Jessie Allen Wise Garden Club, is named. She will be immortalized by her granddaughter–civic leader and historian Mary Margaret (Wise) Harvey.
Confederate Captain Joseph H. Pratt, who commanded the 10th Texas Field Battery that supported Colonel William Henry Parsons under the flag of Parson’s Brigade during the War Between the States. This distinguished battery fought gallantly throughout the South during the Civil War.
Donations to the Old Oakwood Cemetery to support restoration will be gratefully accepted. Cash or checks payable to Old Oakwood Cemetery Association.
Reserve your space for the April 2, 2011 tour at http://www.riverportambassadors.com/. Tickets are also available at the Carriage House Bed and Breakfast by calling 903-665-9511