In the 608: New cemetery tours bringing history to life in Rock County

JANESVILLE, Wis. – There’s a chance for you to discover the stories behind some local folks who were commemorated with buildings or roads named after them.

The all-new Oak Hill Cemetery tours are bringing history to life in the next couple of weeks. The Rock County Historical Society will be providing tours of the cemetery in Janesville.

Historical interpreters will be sharing the stories, researched by local history experts. It’s an opportunity to learn about some of the area’s most well-known people who are buried there.

RCHS executive director Tim Maahs says the tours are a safe way for people to have fun, while learning the intriguing history about people who made an impact in rock county.

“If we don’t understand where we came from, or how we got to where we are, whether we are new to the community or grew up and were raised here, it’s always important so that good things can perpetuate and bad things aren’t repeated,” Maahs explained.

This event is just one of the ways the Rock County Historical Society is working to bridge the stories of the past and present.

“My goal when I took over was to have everybody in the community see themselves here in our space, and we’re working on that. That may be something that we’re never able to complete because things keep changing and evolving, but we’re up for the game,” Maahs added. “I say that if we’re not teaching history, we’re making history, so we’re having a lot of fun doing it.”

Tours are educational in nature and are not a haunted experience, as Oak Hill is a working cemetery, so organizers ask the grounds be treated with respect.

Tours begin at the Oak Hill Chapel in Janesville. Tickets for each tour are $10 and are available for purchase on the RCHS website or by calling RCHS at 608-756-4509. Tickets may also be purchased at the cemetery during tour hours.

Tour dates and times are: October 23, 24, and 30: 1 – 4 p.m. October 27, 28, and 29: 4 – 6 p.m.