The West Haven Historical Society will hold its annual Graveyard Lantern Tour on Saturday Oct. 27 on the West Haven Green. The program, which has become a tradition in the community, will begin at 5 and end at 7:30. Tickets are $5 for adults and $2 for children under 12 and must be purchased at the Poli House 686 Savin Ave., opposite the Green.
Groups of 15-20 people at a time will be escorted every 15 minutes from the Poli House to the Green for the Graveyard Tour. Cider and doughnuts will be available for those attending the event.
This year the tour will bring to life some of the best known women and men who are virtually household names most West Havener’s will recognize. Alma Pagels, a member of a Swedish immigrant family, who lived to be 101 years of age and was a long-time teacher and principal and for whom Pagels School is named, will make an “appearance.” She will be joined by Israel Kelsey entrepreneur and businessman, son of George Kelsey the man credited with establishing Savin Rock, and he will tell of his amazing career which began at age 16.
Hannah Candee Painter, the wife of Thomas Painter, will be one of several women who will make an appearance and discuss her life with one of the city’s most famous citizens. Painter’s husband is the man portrayed on the city’s flag and who warned people that the British were about to invade the town on July 5, 1779.
Several other West Haven citizens will tell of their lives and contributions to the community whose origins date back to l648 when West Farms was first settled. The deceased townspeople will be portrayed by students from the University of New Haven continuing a tradition begun several years ago. This year several members of the Historical Society will join with students in the “reappearances” from the graves.