Tony DiGiacomo portrays outlaw Isaac "Ike" Stockton, waits by a tree for another group of students during Dining with the Dead, Monday at
Tony DiGiacomo portrays outlaw Isaac "Ike" Stockton, waits by a tree for another group of students during Dining with the Dead, Monday at Greenlawn Cemetery in Farmington. (Jon Austria/The Daily Times)

FARMINGTON — Community members are being offered a glance into the past with Dining with the Dead.

During the event, which is on Saturday at Greenlawn Cemetery, local actors will portray influential historical figures from Farmington's history.

The Farmington Rio del Sol Kiwanis Club organized the first-time event as a fundraiser for the new club, which started this year.

"It's a great way for people in our area to learn about our pioneers," said club secretary Jill McQueary.

In order to select the pioneers to highlight, McQueary bought a book about many area pioneers. While McQueary chose the majority of the pioneers from the book, a couple of them, such as Grace Hood, were requests from descendents.

Hood -- one of the namesakes of Hood Mesa, which is located on the northeastern side of Farmington, near Piedra Vista High School -- will be portrayed by her granddaughter.

Other pioneers include Alex Bowman, Ike Stockton of the Stockton Gang, Julia Miller and Thomas Jefferson Arrington.

"It's all in first-person, as if it actually happened to them, as if it were their life," McQueary said.

She said Scott Michlin, who will portray Bowman, will tell a funny story about the town's first armed robbery in the late 1800s.

Bowman opened Bowman Brother's Drugstore, the first pharmacy in Farmington. When the store got robbed, everyone stood still with their hands in the air. A community member walked into the store, and, thinking that some kind of secret ceremony was going on, he also put his hands in the air.

The thieves escaped out the back of the store and were never caught.

But not all the stories are about crime.

IF YOU GO

What: Dining with the Dead

When: 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday

Where: Greenlawn Cemetery, 1606 N. Dustin Ave. in Farmington

Tickets: $25, available at Howard's Cleaners, 1601 N. Dustin Ave.

More info: 505-325-5931

Glenda Fox will portray Julia Miller, who settled in the home site that would become Farmington along with her husband, A.F. Miller, in 1879. The couple owned a large amount of land. When A.F. Miller filed for divorce, Julia Miller was furious. She vowed her property would never align with her husband's.

McQueary said the jagged part of Court Street is because of Miller's vow.

Nine of the 11 pioneers that will be featured Saturday are buried in Greenlawn Cemetery, and, during the performance, the audience will be taken to their graves.

Kevin Eddy tells the story of William Wallace also known as Navajo Bill to student from McKinley Elementary on Monday at Greenlawn Cemetery in Farmington.
Kevin Eddy tells the story of William Wallace also known as Navajo Bill to student from McKinley Elementary on Monday at Greenlawn Cemetery in Farmington. (Jon Austria/The Daily Times)

McQueary said she hopes the event can be continued next year. Next year, she wants to have more influence from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members, who had a great deal of influence in the area, particularly in Kirtland.

"I think people might want their relatives portrayed," McQueary said.

She said anyone with suggestions for next year's pioneers can email her at jmcq2@yahoo.com.

In addition to the performance, dinner will be provided by Square Rib Barbecue.

McQueary said the audience and actors will mainly walk on roads through the cemetery to get from one grave to another.

"We are going to be very, very respectful of the cemetery," McQueary said.

Hannah Grover covers news, arts and religion for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and hgrover@daily-times.com. Follow her @hmgrover on Twitter.