Evergreen Burial Park To Hold Walk Through Roanoke History

Mayors, governors, magnates of industry, Civil War Soldiers—both North and South, hero and heroine—their stories come alive at Roanoke’s Evergreen Burial Park free Walking Tour, Sunday, October 9th. Their stories tell the history of Virginia, Roanoke, and America, all unfolding in the 17th annual guided Walking Tour of Roanoke’s oldest cemetery. The tour begins at 2 p.m.

This year the tour will feature Sam Winkler portraying Tipton Fishburn, a pioneer citizen who helped organize National Exchange Bank and Roanoke Memorial Hospital in addition to being part of the investor group that helped bring the railroad to Roanoke.  Doug Camper will portray Captain Robert Henry Day, Evergreen’s sole Union soldier and founder of Roanoke’s streetcar system in the late 1800s. Kyle Inman will portray Herbert Davies, who spent his career with Virginia Bridge and Iron, which later became part of US Steel, of which he was vice president.

Among others, the notables whose lives and contributions will be recalled will include: Governor (1958–1962) J. Lindsay Almond; World War II flying ace, Bill Overstreet; and Martha Anne Woodrum Zillhardt, Virginia’s first instrument-rated female aviator, founder of Woodrum Flying Service, and first woman president of the Virginia Aviation Trade Council. Tourists will learn about Carter Burgess, one of many distinguished veterans interred at Evergreen, who served as Secretary of the General Staff to European Commander Dwight Eisenhower, was selected to hand deliver the D-Day plans to France’s Charles DeGaulle, and after the War served in a leading staff position at the San Francisco conference that established the United Nations.

Also showcased will be Sallie Weaver Robertson, who at death at the age of 95 in 1937, was one of the last members of the Real Daughters of 1812, a group dedicated to promoting patriotism. Further significant events in national history will be recognized in other memorials on the tour .

The family-friendly tour is open to all who enjoy history and pleasant Sunday strolls, highlighted by informative insights about the people who left indelible marks on Roanoke and Virginia history. The tour begins at the cemetery offices at 1307 Summit Avenue SW, in the city’s Wasena section.

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