Mary Essie Petrie Caldwell: Dine with the Departed “Passed” Resident

Mary Essie Petrie Caldwell was featured at the first Dine with the Departed event hosted by the Osceola County Historical Society in 2010.  Of distinguished Hugenot ancestry, Essie, as she was fondly known, was born June 3, 1838 in Cheraw, South Carolina to Reverend George H.W. Petrie and his wife Mary Jane.  Rev. Petrie was an eminent clergyman of the Southern Presbyterian Church and Essie’s grandfather was an officer in the American Revolution.

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The Hilliard Family

James Kinchen Hilliard was born in Coffee County, Georgia on December 17, 1852.  He lost his father in 1863 during the War Between the States.  Perhaps to ease the burden of his mother, who was left to rear some of his eleven siblings, James headed to Texas at the age of fourteen. For nine years he roamed the central west encountering Indians and buffalo and gathering tales of his experiences.

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A Unique Dining Experience

Amid some controversy, our first Dine with the Departed was held on March 13, 2010 in historic Rose Hill Cemetery. The decision was made by the Osceola County Historical Society to host something different – not the usual ghost tour, generally occurring in October, but to present an educational evening, striving to raise funds for the organization.

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Have You Ever Imagined Having Dinner in a Cemetery?

Have you ever imagined having dinner in a cemetery?

This idea sounded crazy to me the first time I heard it until I learned a little more about Dine with the Departed and had a chance to experience it for myself.

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