By Bob Braley -
ALBION — A travel blogger focusing on sites to see on or near U.S. 6 is spotlighting the Tombstone Trail on her blog.
The trail is the nation’s only historic cemetery trail tour, said Noble County Convention and visitors Bureau executive director John Bry, who spearheaded creation of the trail in 2010.
This year’s trail is bigger, with locations in Koscisuko County as well as Noble and DeKalb counties.
Bry’s interest in local history led to a cooperative effort with volunteers from historical groups, local governments, DAR organizations and genealogical societies whose volunteers researched, mapped, staked out and pulled together the profiles of the famous and not so famous found along the Tombstone Trail.
Communities in DeKalb, Noble, and Kosciusko counties are now included with “spin off” lines already being planned for Whitley, Huntington, and Wabash Counties in 2012.
Planning is also beginning for educational tours for children, and the introduction of cultural celebrations such as Day of the Dead with the Hispanic culture in Ligonier, and costumed actors for next year’s trail opening.
More than 70 stories of individuals including authors, architects and war heroes are included in this year’s Tombstone Trail with special tribute to connections to the American Civil War and World War II to mark the anniversaries of those conflicts.
Volunteer historians uncovered the lost story of Alonzo Anderson, an African-American barber who served in the Colored Regiment of Indiana during the War Between the States.
Also featured is Donald Spangler of Albion, who was killed in action during World War II and had a naval battleship named in his honor.
Tours are self-guided, but reservations can also be made for guided group tours (some by candle light) as well.
The Tombstone Trail also added Guide by Cell phone tours this year, and introduced a microchip technology at certain locations in which cell phones can extract information about the person at the cemetery.