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Cemetery tours highlight Brooksville Founders Day

Kathleen Hudak, historian with the Brooksville Cemetery, tells the story of William Henry, son of Mr. and Mrs. Quitman Varn during a walking tour of the historic Brooksville Cemetery on Tuesday as part of Brooksville's Founders' Week celebration. The boy died from appendicitis in 1913 at the age of 9. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Tampa Bay Times]
Published Oct. 16

Times Staff

Meet William Henry Varn, a 9-year-old Brooksvillian who died of appendicitis in 1913. His life-size stone likeness stands guard over the family plot.

And visit Lizzie and Otto Butterweck, who died in 1921 and 1916, respectively, and now rest side-by-side in a small, but tidy mausoleum.

Kathleen Hudak, a historian with the Brooksville Cemetery, wore a long, black dress Tuesday as she led a walking tour of the historic cemetery, part of the city’s Founders’ Week celebration.

Kathleen Hudak, historian with the Brooksville Cemetery, describes the materials used for headstones during a walking tour of the historic Brooksville Cemetery on Tuesday as part of Brooksville's Founders' Week celebration. This headstone marks the grave of Brooksville resident Thomas J. Darby who died in 1865. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Tampa Bay Times]

The Brooksville Cemetery began official operation in April 1887, although many citizens already were buried there. The earliest documented burial, that of Charlotte Crum, took place in September of 1842. The earliest marked grave is that of Jane Hope, who died in 1845.

Kathleen Hudak, historian with the Brooksville Cemetery, orients visitors at the cemetery's gazebo before leading a walking tour of the historic cemetery on Tuesday as part of Brooksville's Founders' Week celebration. The Brooksville Cemetery began official operation in April 1887 although many citizens were already buried there. The earliest documented burial, that of Charlotte Crum, took place in September, 1842. The earliest marked grave is that of Jane Hope, who died in 1845. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Tampa Bay Times]

The main Founders Day celebration is Saturday, with a full day of entertainment from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. throughout downtown Brooksville.

Here’s what to expect:

  • 9 a.m. - A century period fashion show on the courthouse steps
  • 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. - The Taste of Brooksville
  • 10 a.m. - Walking tour of the Brooksville Cemetery (RSVP to 352-540-3806)
  • 11:30 a.m. - Founders Day Victorian Tea at the Historic Brooksville Woman’s Club ($18 at the door)
  • 1:30 p.m. - Mural tours by local historian Jan Knowles (meet on courthouse steps)
  • 3 p.m. - The Brooksville Beard and Moustache Competition (register at historicdowntownbrooksville.com)
  • 4-9 p.m. - Blues-In Cruise-In Car Show
  • 5 p.m. - The Un-Common-Ly Artsy arts market at Brooksville City Hall.


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