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Story by Hope Murdick
On Tuesday, July 3 and Thursday, July 5, the Dryden Genealogical Society hosted their Eighth Annual Spirit Walk. On Thursday evening, nearly 40 people met at the Dryden Cemetery to enjoy the beautiful weather and some story telling, celebrating the lives of those past. The Dryden Genealogical Society is a group of Drydenites who search the history and genealogy of our city. Each year the group compiles several stories of past residents to share during their annual Spirit Walk. The event is coordinated by several people, including Will Vermeer, Bruce Walchuk, Anna Turcott, and Maryann Misner.
“We’ve chosen nine stories tonight [Thursday],” Misner said. “Sometimes the stories are suggested by people who have come to our spirit walks and sometimes we go out on our own and choose someone. We pick a person and then we begin researching their life to put together a story.”
The society always begins their search with the Dryden Observer, looking for the person’s obituary. This then leads them to the person’s family members and the areas of interest so that they can research the person and build their life story.
“Everyone has a story, you didn’t have to be a doctor or a lawyer to have had an interesting life,” Turcott said.
Two years ago the Genealogical Society used the past stories they had gathered to compile a book, which sold out almost instantly.
“With the proceeds from the book we’ve established a history scholarship for each of the three elementary schools, $100 per scholarship,” Misner said.
The group encourages young people to explore history through the Spirit Walk and scholarship opportunities. They hold events for history classes and are even discussing doing a veteran-specific evening.
“We have a great town here with a lot of great citizens who have put their hearts into building a wonderful community,” Misner said. “We feel this history should be known and we’re very anxious to have our young people become interested too.”
If you are interested in learning more about the Dryden Genealogical Society or their annual spirit walk you may contact Maryanne Misner at 223-6605 or Bruce and Alice Walchuk at firstname.lastname@example.org.