The Fillmore County History Center will host "Midnight at the Morgue," a genealogy research program, on Oct. 13.  Director Debra Richardson especially likes making gravestone rubbings, such as the ones shown here on a mortician's cooling table, which was used to preserve bodies before burial.
The Fillmore County History Center will host "Midnight at the Morgue," a genealogy research program, on Oct. 13. Director Debra Richardson especially likes making gravestone rubbings, such as the ones shown here on a mortician's cooling table, which was used to preserve bodies before burial.
Debra's in it for a slab and a slice at the morgue.

Are you?

"Once again, we're hosting 'Midnight at the Morgue' - this year's the sequel," said Fillmore County History Center Director Debra Richardson, reveling in the morbid delight of the upcoming occasion during which she will get to go to her two favorite places ... the graveyard and the morgue.

So you say there's something not quite right about that lady?

She gleefully agrees that her hobby and occupation aren't orthodox, but "Midnight at the Morgue: The Sequel" set for Oct. 13, is an opportunity for residents of the area to accompany her to Carrolton Cemetery and back to the Fillmore County History Center, home of Richardson's "morgue," or the genealogy library.

"We're going to the Carrolton Cemetery to allow everyone to try making gravestone rubbings - I have all the supplies, so nobody has to bring anything - and after that, we're coming back here for pizza, then we'll be in the morgue all night until midnight, researching ancestors."

Richardson originally chose to host "Midnight at the Morgue" last fall for various reasons, most of them not as morbid as one might suspect.

"I decided I wanted a genealogy evening, and at that point, the museum was still open Monday through Friday, so a lot of the genealogy researchers were employees who couldn't take the time because they were at work, so I thought that evenings might work best. Then ... I thought of 'Midnight at the Morgue,' and that's how it began."

Participants' satisfaction with digging up their dead prompted her to host "the sequel," and, she noted, what better time to do so than on Oct. 13?

"I think everyone went away tired and happy with their newfound information ... there were a lot of hardcore researchers who were happy with it and talking about another night before that night was over. I have seen several of those 16 people become what I call 'repeat offenders' - they've become repeat customers."

Fellow graveyard slab and morgue slice enthusiasts are invited to meet at the Fillmore County History Center at 3 p.m. Oct. 13 to travel to the Carrolton Cemetery to create gravestone rubbings, then return to the center at 5 p.m. for pizza, followed by research in the genealogy library from 6 p.m. to midnight.

Richardson encouraged, "If anyone wants to participate, they should check the website for further details because our flyer is on the website. Also, they should email or call to RSVP because we do have to limit this to 16 people."

Cost for the evening's adventures is a $35 donation. "That includes copies off the machines, the entrance fee to the genealogy library, materials for the gravestone rubbings and pizza, which is a bargain."

The Fillmore County History Center is located at 202 County Road 8, Fountain. For more information or to register, call 507-268-4449 or e-mail Richardson at fchc@frontier.com.