‘Living History’ cemetery tour connects attendees with Lake Charles’ past

‘Living History’ cemetery tour connects attendees with Lake Charles’ past

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The “Living History” cemetery tour took attendees to five different cemeteries across Lake Charles: Orange Grove, Catholic, Bilbo, Goos and Huff and Thomas.

For actor Erik Jessen, portraying Captain Daniel Goos was more than just testing his acting skills.

“Yes, he’s my great-great grandfather so I am a descendant of Daniel Goos,” Jessen said.

Jessen said the tour is a great way to teach people about his family’s history.

“I feel like I’m kind of helping support a family role and help shine a light on his life and what he wanted to leave behind for Lake Charles,” Jessen said.

Another actor, Brian Pitre, said tonight was a history lesson for him just like many of the attendees.

“The oldest grave that I’ve found so far is right around 1890, something like that, and the latest one that I found is like 1977. So, in that time frame, this small little area houses a lot of people," Pitre said.

He said that by portraying Professor J.E.L. Hoskins, buried at the Huff and Thomas Cemetery, this is possibly the first step in memorializing the families on as well known as the Goos family.

“There are a lot of unmarked spots. There’s a lot of open grass area. I think it’s good to bring awareness that there are that many people here and we should maybe start trying to figure out who they are and who they were," Pitre said.

One attendee agreed, saying she hopes by teaching her son about these prominent figures, he will be proud of his community’s roots.

“So that they can know these minorities out here were able to make positive contributions to their community in amiss of adversity, and that they can do it also,” Sher Diaz said.

Meanwhile for others, it helped put a name to some famous places around the city.

“It just makes it come alive. We travel a lot and go to tours and we’ve gone to tours in other cities and there’s a lot of history here. I mean, that we never really knew about,” Frank Thompson, tour attendee, said.

Oct. 26 was the first year of the cemetery tour, and it’s undecided whether or not it will become an annual event.

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