It definitely has one of the highest concentrations of personality and intrigue per acre in Duluth, but the stories are silent most of the time. That being said, some of those ostentatious grave markers say plenty.
Last weekend, I went on a lengthy and winding walk through Forest Hill Cemetery with Heidi Bakk-Hansen. She’d offered the tour on Perfect Duluth Day, and before I knew it, she was being pulled around the grounds by Yukon, her big, fluffly husky-malamute mix, and I was chasing them both with a microphone.
I’m new to town, but I recognized plenty of names from prominent buildings and street signs around town. Heidi tossed out shards of history and miniature bios as we walked — a mining magnate here, a railroad executive there. I recorded as much as I could, and having had a chance to listen through again this week, my head is still whirling.
From that binge on the huge, bombastic characters Duluth characters, I’ll be rolling out a few short posts in the next 24 hours or so. They will not do my experience with Heidi justice, much less the amazingly rich document of Forest Hill Cemetery, but they’re the narrow slices of the pie I’ve been able to put together.
As an introduction to our experience, the following audio slideshow is a loose collage of impressions put together from pieces of Heidi’s tour. Each idea is not intended to be directly connected to the next, but they might come together as a whole — think of it as a trailer for a movie that’s not coming:
More shortly! Also, if you can convince Heidi to give you a similar tour, it comes very highly recommended.