Long Beach Holds Cemetery Tours for Halloween

Thursday night, Long Beach brought back its cemetery tours to give a little history lesson. Thanks to Mary Levens, Long Beach’s cemetery tours are back.

A Long Beach cemetery connoisseur, she helped organize a history lesson at eight grave sites throughout the memorial grounds. Levens says, "I see the date of birth and the date of death, and I’m always amazed at what happens in between, which is our history."

Family members of deceased relatives hosted a re-enactment or Q & A session at the grave sites of their lost loved ones, sharing the impact they had on Long Beach history. Connie Cole, daughter of Bill Fennel, says, "He started a newspaper. Originally, the Long Beach Weekly, and it became the Gulf Coast Weekly when we started picking up some stories from Pass Christian and Gulfport."

Coles’s father, Bill Fennel, is well-known in the Long Beach community from his days of taking pictures on the sidelines of football games and weddings, uniting the Long Beach community. Cole also says, "He was the publisher and the editor, and my mother was co-editor. It’s a wonderful legacy. I wish I had more copies."

After Hurricane Katrina destroyed most of the historical documents in Long Beach, the city is left with grave stones and stories passed down by older generations, to be reminded of their history. Brenda Batey, of the Long Beach Historical Society and event coordinator, says, "Oral traditions are always strong. They’re interesting, they’re vibrant, and it’s important to keep them alive."

That’s what the Long Beach Cemetery did Thursday night, kept the stories of Long Beach alive in the minds of the next generation, even though the documents have been washed away.

Categories: Local News, News

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