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Resthaven Cemetery Tours highlight Alpharetta’s ancestors
by Nicole Dow
October 23, 2013 01:53 PM | 2866 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Erin Gray / Jim Gray, Sallye Hooks and Kent Igleheart will be portraying old Alpharetta residents from the 1800s and 1900s for the Restless in Resthaven Cemetery Tours.
Staff / Erin Gray / Jim Gray, Sallye Hooks and Kent Igleheart will be portraying old Alpharetta residents from the 1800s and 1900s for the Restless in Resthaven Cemetery Tours.
Alpharetta’s past will come to life Saturday and Sunday as the Restless in Resthaven Cemetery Tours return for the second year.

The tours, sponsored by the city of Alpharetta and the Alpharetta Historical Society, feature stories of the city’s rich history, said Sondra Ilgenfritz, founding artistic director of Atlanta Theatre-To-Go, the company producing the tours.

“The city was founded in 1858 so how do you tell the story of how a small community becomes a leading technology city of the South? We tell it through people,” she said. “We have very interesting characters selected from Alpharetta’s past, and we bring them to life. Through their stories, we tell the story of the city of Alpharetta.”

Professional actors will portray residents who lived in Alpharetta during the 1800s and 1900s, most of whom are buried in Resthaven Cemetery, she said. Some of the residents brought to life are the city’s first female postmistress Nannie Hayes Teasley, former mayor Teasley Upshaw and Louie Jones, whose funeral home once stood at the site where Smokejack BBQ now stands.

“We have very colorful characters who tell their stories,” Ilgenfritz said. “We have a woman who is left as a widow with seven children at age 38 when her husband died. We have another fellow who was a doctor during the Civil War.” She said the stories encountered on the tour are completely authentic as Connie Mashburn with the historical society provided the theater company with information on the city’s former residents. The tours will begin at Smokejack BBQ at 29 S. Main St. and will continue through downtown Alpharetta to the cemetery. The walk is approximately two miles long, roundtrip, and the tour will last about 90 minutes.

“We try to make it interactive and work with the audience,” Ilgenfritz said. “That’s one of the things that’s so wonderful about live drama — the interaction between the players and the audience.”

Though it is a cemetery tour just days before Halloween, she said it is not a Halloween event. The tours are not scary and are appropriate for all ages.

Ilgenfritz said the tours were so popular last year that they expanded the event from one day to two. This year will also feature live musical entertainment from a featured violinist.

Each tour is limited to 35 people. Reservations must be made in advance either online at or at the Alpharetta Community Center at 175 Roswell Street.

If you go:
What: Restless in Resthaven Cemetery Tours
Where: Tours start at 29 S. Main St., Alpharetta
When: Saturday at 4:30, 6 and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at 4:30 and 6 p.m.
Cost: $10
Registration: or at the Alpharetta Community Center, 175 Roswell St.

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