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Greenlawn Cemetery, Sept. 9


September 1, 2017

Dr. John Brown

Dining With the Dead is a historical reenactment held at Greenlawn Cemetery on Sept. 9, where some of the San Juan County pioneers are brought to life.

Paul and Jill McQueary, event co-coordinators, saw a similar event 5 years ago in Yuma, AZ, and felt this was a perfect program for our community. Many people are curious about how streets got their names, what drew pioneers here when New Mexico was still a Territory, and how wild was the Wild West? Not all pioneers portrayed are buried at Greenlawn but in a quest to tell the stories of San Juan County, a few "visitors" come on this one evening and may never come again. Guests will experience a feeling of stepping back to a different time era. Everyone participating in the event is dressed in a costume from times past.

William B. Haines, portrayed by Steve Clark, was the first appointed "Mayor" of Bloomfield. His story is interesting in that he plays a part in events leading up to the formation of San Juan County.

Antonia Carruth Sandoval, is portrayed by great-granddaughter, Suzanne Fortner. Antonia was orphaned as a young child during the Mexican Revolution and brought to Santa Fe. She owned the El Cantero Restaurant on Wall St.

Harriet Sammons, the first woman bank president in New Mexico, and possibly the United States, is portrayed by Barbara Hill.

Mary Hudson Brothers is portrayed by Rebecca Morgan. Mary's farther, Bell, knew Billy the Kid and later rode with Pat Garrett. He kept daily diaries and Mary later wrote two books titled "Pecos Pioneers" and "Billy the Kid."

Her great-granddaughter, Judy Castleberry, portrays Elizabeth Jane King who was a true pioneer woman who married Henry Clay King when she was only 14 years of age. One of their children was Troy King.

Scott Michlin portrays Alex Bowman. He served in the Civil War in the early 1860's. Eventually he and his brother William came to Farmington after William's wife died. They owned the Bowman Brothers Drug Store where Farmington's first robbery took place.

Dr. Bob Lehmer portrays Dr. John Brown who learned to speak the Navajo language and was able to prevent a massacre of Farmington citizens by Chief Black Horse.

Bernabe and Antonia Sandoval wedding photo

Harriet Butler is portrayed by D'Ann Waters. Harriet's second husband was William Butler. They moved to Farmington because he was offered a job with the Farmington Times. Harriet was postmistress for eight years during the time that Woodrow Wilson was president. Butler Street is named for their family.

Other pioneers that will be portrayed include Orval Ricketts by Charley Tyler, Willis Martin by Chuck Holmes, Port Stockton by Mike Leonard, and Ike Stockton by Tony DiGiacomo.

This is the Signature Project of Rio del Sol Kiwanis and proceeds go to benefit future Kiwanis children's projects and the Farmington Museum. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at Howard's Cleaners on North Dustin. Information: 325-5931 or 860-0165. Purchase tickets early as event sells out. Bring lightweight portable chair if you wish to sit.

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