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History plus tavern equals larger crowd

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Editorial: Aug. 14, 2014

ISSUE: Record attendance for walking tour
OUR VIEW: New gathering enhances experience

The Historic Downtown Walking Tour has been offering glimpses into Elizabethtown’s past on Thursday nights each summer for 27 years.

To the delight of locals and guests, dedicated volunteers portray historic figures who spent time in the community. The Eliza­bethtown Heritage Council event keeps the history fresh.

Before the Little Bighorn, Gen. George Custer lived at what is now the Brown-Pusey House while fulfilling a military assignment here. A young attorney named James Buchanan, who later would become U.S. president, represented family property interests in the local court. The tour also includes famed singer Jenny Lind, infamous swindler Phillip Arnold, the first free black General Braddock and Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln, stepmother of Abraham Lincoln.

The tour saw 470 visitors for its July productions, which is a record turnout. One evening the audience count was calculated at 130, which has been exceeded only twice in the decades since the event was first scripted by Bob Beimdick and Charlie Logsdon — for whom it is now named.

Some credit a milder than normal July. New downtown developments, including the presence of an after hours restaurant, also could be a factor. But a companion event behind Brown-Pusey House is helping feed the walking tour audience.

Tavern in the Garden deserves attention for creating a destination and reason for being downtown on Thursday evenings. It offers live music, beer and wine and an idyllic atmosphere to unwind and visit with friends and neighbors.

And the Brown-Pusey House is on the walking tour trail so the two events work in concert to build the success of both.

The activities start at 7 tonight and continue each Thursday night through September. Maybe it’s time for you to visit again or experience the past for the first time.

This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.