Historic figures come alive in Carson | NevadaAppeal.com

Historic figures come alive in Carson

Karl Horeis

Keith Anderson, left and Theresa Sweet stand in front of the Governor's Mansion during the Ghost Walk Saturday. Anderson played the part of Governor John Jones and told stories of a haunted grandfather clock and of a ghost of a little girl that plays hop-scotch in the Mansion. Photo by Brian Corley

Groups of 40 to 50 ghost walkers traveled through time in Carson City on Saturday, visiting historic homes on a tour guided by the apparitions of their original owners during the eighth incarnation of the Carson City Ghost Walk.

“It’s getting bigger and better every year,” said Joy Evans, events coordinator for the Carson City Visitors Bureau.

Spirits brought to life under the fall colors included Dr. Cavell, who was a dentist in Carson City for 56 years, Elizabeth and Mabel Bliss, who showed the Bliss Mansion and Governor Jones at the Governor’s Mansion.

The event is organized by the Carson City Visitor’s Bureau and hosted by the Nevada State Museum.

Actors from BrYka Theater in Reno joined students from Carson and Douglas high schools and the Nevada Gunfighters in bringing the figures to life.

“What really stood out for me was all the little reenactments,” said Jackie Fuller, a learning specialist from south Miami. She was at Lake Tahoe for business and stayed for entertainment.

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“When you grow up watching Bonanza and they’re always talking about Carson City and Virginia City, you just have to come see what’s going on down here,” she said. “I’ve seen ghost walks in New Orleans and Charleston and this one is great. It’s definitely got a whole new flavor.”

The Ghost Walk started at 9:30 a.m. with the last last tour departing at 2:30 p.m. Tours ran every half hour. Evans estimated total participants at 2,000.

Actor Rodney Hearst from BrYka Theater portrayed Dr. Cavell, who was himself a thespian.

Cavell build his house at 402 W. Robinson St. 1907 as a wedding gift for his bride. The house was the first in Carson City to be built with gas and electric fixtures and hot-water heat, said Larry Green, owner of Larry Green Realty. Green listed the four-bedroom home with a formal living and dining rooms and a musical parlor within its 3,342 square feet for $635,000 in 1997.

“I really enjoy the spontaneous improvisation,” Hearst said of working on the Ghost Walk. His partner at the Cavell house, actor Scott Dundas, also enjoys the tour.

“I like the whole aspect of the environmental entertainment.” he said. “You know, people aren’t really expecting any theatrical entertainment so it’s a nice surprise.”

A new feature this year was the funeral at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church for a Pony Express rider killed in action.

Over at the Bliss Mansion, Karen Chandler as Elizabeth Bliss brought walkers to hysterics with a game where you hold an apple under your chin and pass it to some else’s chin without using your hands. That’s the very game played by William Bliss on the Bliss lawn when he met his bride Mabel Williams. After Chandler — or, Mrs. Bliss — got the whole group to sing Mabel’s favorite song, ‘Amazing Grace,’ the ghost of Mabel made an appearance too.

“It was quite interesting,” said Guido Rost from Rostock, Germany. “Anything like this with the acting — it’s always quite entertaining.”

Evans, of the visitors bureau, made a point of thanking Mark Falconer and Jim Barmore of the state museum for all their help.

Next up for the visitor’s bureau is the Wild West Tour over Memorial Day Weekend. It’s not unlike the ghost tour, according to Evans.

“Except we don’t capitalize on the ghostly spirits,” she said.