Buried in Pioneer Cemetery are three love stories that will be told during a Valentine’s Day walk.

Through her love of history and in honor of Valentine’s Day, Recreation Manager Rachel Melick dreamed up the idea of honoring the “Great Love Stories of Calistoga.” Working with Kathy Bazzoli of Sharpsteen Museum, they have gathered the history of three unique couples and their romances from more than a century ago.

“Always on the lookout to enjoy and share the enjoyment of the different parks and open space around town, I thought a cemetery walk could be interesting given the history that is rooted in the area,” Melick said. “With it being close to Valentine’s Day, I decided what better way than to spend it taking a walk and hearing about the ‘Great Love Stories of Calistoga.’”

On a walking tour of Pioneer Cemetery Melick will tell the stories of John Cyrus and Lovina Graves-Cyrus, Lorenz Petersen and Maria Catherina Ebsen-Petersen, and William Putnam Boyce and Susan A. Reid-Boyce. The couples are all buried in the cemetery.

One love story tells how a young woman turned down the proposal of Abraham Lincoln before he became president. Another finds a Danish couple who ended up separated across an ocean after the young man escaped their homeland to avoid conscription in the German Army. And John and Lovina Cyrus have a connection to the Donner-Reed Party, a group of American pioneers who came west from Independence, Missouri, and got trapped in the Sierra Mountains during a wicked winter storm.

The tour will begin at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14, at the entrance to the cemetery and last until about noon. The tour is free, but attendees are asked to RSVP by Monday, Feb. 12 at 707-942-2838. There will be some parking available, but carpooling or taking the shuttle is encouraged.

Pioneer Cemetery is located on Foothill Boulevard south of Petrified Forest Road. Flat comfortable shoes are recommended.

The Calistoga Shuttle is an on-demand, door-to-door, transit service within specific areas of the city. Call 963-4229 for same-day pick-up.

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The Weekly Calistogan Editor