Southeast Missouri State University students host living history walking tour

Updated: May. 6, 2021 at 6:30 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - If you are interested in local history, students from Southeast Missouri State University’s Historic Preservation Program will present their research on Cape Girardeau’s past residents.

The living history walking tour will be Friday, May 7 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Old Lorimier Cemetery

“What we’re doing is living history,” said Dr. Joel Rhodes, a history and anthropology professor at Southeast Missouri State University.

He and his students were in the classroom preparing for the tour.

“They’re going to present their findings in a format that’s not traditional. They are not teachers; they’re not going to be writing articles or books. They are going to be presenting them directly to the public, they’re public historians,” said Rhodes.

Allyson Ingle, one of many students in Rhodes’s class, said that she has been preparing for Friday’s event for months.

“Playing this character, I wanted to make sure to tell that story because it is important to tell both sides of the story even if it’s difficult. But I made sure that I did it in a way that wasn’t offensive, that got the point across. To showcase that history,” Ingle said.

She and her classmates will be performing in character in an effort to bring the history of past residents to life.

“It’s gonna be a good cross section, I think, of characters. All of these people have been buried in Old Lorimier. We have a number of immigrants and veterans and tradesman and artisans and so forth. If you are interested in local history, it’s a great way to see it, it’s what we call edutainment,” Rhodes said.

For these students, Friday night is the finale involving months of research and study about local residents who put southeast Missouri on the map.

“What makes living history really cool is that you get a chance to see how these events actually shaped people, how they actually intersected with these peoples’ lives. I think my students will be able to bring that to life for them,” said Rhodes.

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