Walking through history

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa – Clear Lake High School American Heritage classes held a cemetery walk on Sunday.

Project manager Tali Tesar said the lessons she’s learning in class are going from what’s found in a book to what’s found in a walk through the Clear Lake Municipal Cemetery.

“And the cool thing is, it’s not world, it’s not even American history,” said Tesar. “It’s just Clear Lake history, which people tend not to know about.”

Tesar said her classmates are showing community members a variety of people who impacted the city of Clear Lake and were buried at the cemetery. She said in order to do that, it took a lot of research.

“We had to actually go to the Historical Society at the Clear Lake Library and look at these old documents, primary sources, and that’s really cool because it gave you firsthand, read about people’s firsthand experience in Clear Lake,” said Tesar.

Tesar said people going on the tour will run into someone next to a grave dressed up in a time period appropriate costume sharing a monologue of their lives. She said actors dressed up as people such as Joseph Hewitt, who is considered the founder of Clear Lake and Amy Drake Phillips, the wife of a well-known doctor, Norman Phillips.

Kate Franke said it was exciting to act and share Amy Drake Phillips’ story.

“The kind of big thing that they (Drake Phillips and Norman Phillips) did was they adopted a child off the orphan train which ran from Clear Lake to Mason City to westward,” said Franke.

Franke said she met one of the family members of Norman Phillips at the cemetery and learned more about the couple.

“I feel like it was really interesting just to be able to get to know the person better from personal experiences other people have had.”

Donations received at the event will go to the Clear Lake Historical Society and the Washington DC Scholarship Fund.

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