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Crocker House Museum holding 10th annual Cemetery Walk

By: Julie Snyder | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published September 18, 2015


MOUNT CLEMENS — Ann Crocker, the first child of former Mount Clemens Mayor George Crocker, was thought of by many as somewhat of a tough cookie.

But it was the children in the community during the early to mid-1900s who knew her soft side: a generous woman who for many years of her life cared for her diabetic mother and could often be seen sweeping the sidewalk around her home while donning her favorite Hoover apron.

“She liked Heath candy bars and butterscotch candies, and she loved hosting parties,” said Loretta Clark, who is portraying Crocker during the museum’s Oct. 3 Cemetery Walk at Clinton Grove Cemetery in Mount Clemens. “But she never married, which I find very unique, and I’ve never been able to figure out why.”

Crocker, who was the city librarian for 30 years, died in 1968 at the age of 76. She was buried at Clinton Grove alongside some of the city’s historical figures, some of whom will also be featured during this year’s Cemetery Walk.

Kim Parr, director of the Crocker House Museum and the Macomb County Historical Society, said the walk will feature the stories of community members who helped create Mount Clemens, also referred to as Bath City USA.

“Meet the man who discovered the healing properties of our mineral water,” said Parr. “Meet a man who fought in both the War of 1812 and the Civil War. Meet a man who was here when Mount Clemens was yet wilderness. Meet a man who started his own hotel that was connected to a bath house. And meet the daughter of our second mayor and granddaughter to the first mayor of Mount Clemens. Visit a local ancestor whose relation goes back to the voyageurs in the mausoleum that was built in the 1920s.”

Simply put, Parr said the event is a fun way to learn the city’s history.

The Cemetery Walk begins in the parlor at the Crocker House Museum at 15 Union St. There, participants will get to see what an actual wake was like in the 19th and 20th centuries, and hear a presentation led by Parr on historical wake and burial practices. There will also be a real casket in the parlor.

From there, a bus will take groups of 14 to Clinton Grove for the guided tour every 15 minutes beginning at 12:30 p.m. and continuing until 5 p.m. At the cemetery, participants will meet Crocker House Museum volunteers, who will be dressed in period costume and speaking about the individuals they are portraying from the perspective of the individuals themselves.

Clark, of Harrison Township, has been an actor in the Cemetery Walk in the past and said it’s a great experience.

“I think it’s such fun,” she said. “I will be portraying Ann in her 70s, so I’ll be wearing casual business attire and, of course, a Hoover apron.”

Tickets are on sale now for both the Cemetery Walk and the Funeral Tea that will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, 168 Cass Ave., from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Harold Vicks Funeral Home in Mount Clemens is sponsoring the event and will be providing cider and doughnuts.

Tickets to the Cemetery Walk cost $15 for members of the Macomb County Historical Society and $20 for nonmembers. They can be purchased at the Crocker House Museum.

The Funeral Tea will feature a presentation, Three Wives Tea, a variety of tea sandwiches reminiscent of foods served at the wakes of various cultures, and desserts. Tickets cost $35 for members of the Macomb County Historical Society and $40 for nonmembers. To make a reservation for the Funeral Tea, call (586) 465-2488.