On Sunday, August 23, 2015, a unique event called “Living History: Art Show & History Tours” will be held from 1-4 pm in the chapel on the grounds of the Historic Easton Cemetery. The show will highlight the watercolors of noted Easton artist and visual storyteller, Preston K. Hindmarch. Visitors can view paintings of five people who have played a significant part in Easton’s past and who are buried in Easton Cemetery. Original artwork and prints will be available for purchase. Plus, on-site tour guides will help bring history to life. The famous five in the artwork include a musician, a dreamer, a doctor, an educator, and a politician. The art show is being held to benefit the Easton Cemetery.
Thomas Coates was born in Easton about 1803. He was a musical prodigy being especially gifted with the French horn. At age 10 he ran away and joined a circus band. In 1824 Coates was a member of the band that accompanied General Lafayette when he paid a return visit to the United States. Eventually Coates settled in New York City but in 1852 he returned to Easton to direct Pomp’s Cornet Band (later known as the Easton Band.) In 1861 when the Civil War began, this band became the regimental band for the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He is considered by many to be “the Father of Band Music in America.”
C. Norvin Rinek was part of one of Easton’s most successful and influential families, stemming from Rinek Cordage Company which was founded in 1840 and finally sold in 1970. Born in 1888, Norvin Rinek certainly inherited the family’s entrepreneurial spirit. He pursued a wide variety of interests—from the family rope business to the building of his own biplane-type aeroplane in the early days of aviation. Longtime residents of Easton’s College Hill might remember being lucky enough to have ridden on the small scale railroad he built at his home. His inventive mind encompassed many areas unique to his era.
Traill Green was a man of many accomplishments—he was a medical doctor, teacher, botanist, geologist, chemist, professor, humanitarian, and author. Born in Easton in 1833, Dr. Green’s education included Easton Union Academy, Minerva Academy and University of Pennsylvania, where he studied medicine. In 1832, he was named professor of chemistry at Lafayette College. He spent more than 50 years at the college also serving as a dean, trustee and even acting president. Dr. Green was instrumental in the establishment of the Easton Cemetery, where his statue can be seen inside the Seventh Street Entrance Gate.
William W. Cottingham served as superintendent of Easton Schools for some 60 years! After attending Princeton University and Lafayette College, Professor Cottingham was chosen superintendent of Easton schools in 1853. He brought Easton from the era of the one-room schoolhouse to the prototype of the future of education. Prior to this time, no new schools were built in the district. Soon, one was being built, on average, every four years. The high school building was erected in 1893. This education pioneer left his mark on Easton and across the nation.
Andrew Horatio Reeder was born in Easton, but this lawyer and activist was best known for his role as the first territorial governor of Kansas in 1854 during the turbulent time leading up to the Civil War. He fought for the Free-State cause, eventually having to escape back to Easton. In 1861 President Lincoln offered to appoint him as a brigadier general, a post he refused. He resumed his practice of law and remained active in politics on a national and local level. Andrew Horatio died in Easton on July 5, 1864.
Admission is free to this event. Two Rivers Brewing Company will provide a specially selected beer to sample,and a variety of local restaurants will offer light refreshments and wine.
Along with viewing Hindmarch’s works of art and leaning more about them from the tour guides, visitors also are encouraged to find out more about the cemetery and a new volunteer group called “Friends of Easton Cemetery.” The mission of this group is to acquaint the public with the value of preserving this local treasure. Unlike many older cemeteries, Easton Cemetery still has burial spaces available.
For more information:
Art Show and History Tours: Preston K. Hindmarch at Aardvark Graphics 610-253-3133
Concerning the Easton Cemetery: The cemetery office at 610-252-1741 or firstname.lastname@example.org.