Pinellas News

Historical tour of Tarpon’s Cycadia Cemetery this weekend

TARPON SPRINGS — Cemeteries in may elicit a range of emotions from person to person.

Phyllis Kolianos and the Tarpon Springs Area Historical Society would like to help highlight a civic gem by inviting the public to Cycadia Cemetery this Saturday from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.

“Cycadia’s a beautiful cemetery,” said Kolianos, vice president of the society. “There’s a mix of cultures and all the different formations of headstones. It’s one of the cemeteries that has a lot of character, so to speak.”

Saturday’s event is free and will consist of guided tours and re-enactors dressed as historically significant individuals important to the creation and growth of Tarpon Springs.

“It’s pretty neat because people will be dressed in the period of the person they’re portraying,” Kolianos said. “It teaches people our history, makes them aware of the past and gets them interested in what else happened here in Tarpon Springs.”

Most notable among the six portrayals is Anson P.K. Safford, a former Arizona territorial governor who was one of the founder of Tarpon Springs. Safford, who died in 1891, is buried within Cycadia Cemetery and the tours will stop at his grave site.

The daughter of Viola Keeney Beekman will also be present to speak of her late mother’s role in the cemetery’s creation. It was Keeney Beekman who donated the land on the north side of Keystone Road as a final resting place for the town’s deceased in 1887.

This is not the first time the historical society has put on guided tours of the cemetery, Kolianos said, but it’s been about four or five years since the most recent was held.

The tours are free to attend and guests can park at the cemetery. Signs will help direct traffic to the proper area and a tent will be set up with information and water.

For further details contact the Tarpon Springs Area Historical Society at (727) 943-4624.