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Posted on Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 5:40 a.m.

Wystan Stevens ends popular Ann Arbor cemetery tours after 30 years

By Cindy Heflin

Historian Wystan Stevens has decided to end his popular and long-runnig tours of Forest Hill Cemetery, the Ann Arbor Journal reports.

Wystan Stevens (AAHS, '61).jpg

Wystan Stevens

Stevens cited aging and his move to Pennsylvania as reasons for the end of the Ann Arbor cemetery tours, which he has been giving for 30 years.

He said he had decided to end the tours before he received a letter this fall ordering him to stop the tours until he received proper permission for them.



Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 6:07 p.m.

There are a bunch of snippets of past tours on youtube. But, unfortunately, I don't know of a tour we could buy.


Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 5:52 p.m.

I took his tour many years ago and found it really interesting. I had hoped to go again this fall, before he retired from doing them, but was not able to do so. I hope some video record was made of these. Someone should interview him to get his wealth of knowledge into a book, if he does not plan to do so himself. Good luck to you, Wystan, in your move to Pennsylvania. We will miss you.

Robert G. Carter

Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 5:23 p.m.

I have lived in Ann Arbor for 56 years. Finally, two years ago I took the tour and found it to be interesting, informative, and entertaining. It is a real loss to the history of the community if one of these tours has not been video taped and a copy deposited in the Bentley Historical Library or the Ann Arbor District Library.


Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 4:12 p.m.

I have wanted to do one of his tours for years. Never had a chance for what ever reason. Maybe someone will pick it up from him and use his notes on what I have heard is a great tour of that cemetery. I wonder if the board is related to the Arborland committee that kicked those AATA buses of their property. Ann Arbor needs to rethink what they are getting rid of. Great article and good luck in PA. Maybe he can do a gig at Gettysburg?

Bob Bethune

Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 3:46 p.m.

Given the cultural and historic importance of this property, and given the obviously obtuse and uncaring atittude of the present management, perhaps the City of Ann Arbor might make a very appropriate and useful exercise of the right of eminent domain. The idea that you can allow something to take place on your property for 30 years without doing anything to stop it, and then turn around and claim you never gave permission for it, is an insult to the intelligence of everyone in a 50-mile radius.

Jim Peters

Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 2:14 p.m.

In this day and age of everyone creating books about nothing, Desmond Howard 21. This is very interesting Ann Arbor history, has Wystan considered creating a book of this tour? Or, does he have plans to do so? I sure hope this wonderful historic information isn't going to lost when Wystan moves to Pennsylvania. Good luck Wystan!


Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 2:08 p.m.

Good job Jacob Haas rather than work with him and help you are doing a great job. I like the part about no comment from you also. You are wrong and should step down yourself.

K Thompson

Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 5:10 p.m.

I don't understand this comment. You agree with city? Or are sarcastic? You don't support the cem. tours? You don't want Mr. Stevens to share his knowledge of A2?

Michigan Man

Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 2:01 p.m.

To everything there is a season ... a time to mourn and a time to dance ... a time to lose and a time to seek ... a time to keep silent and a time to speak = ecclesiastes 3: 1-8


Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 1:57 p.m.

My ancestors are buried in that cemetery (my parents are directly across from Bo). My great-grandfather was born in 1840. I pay maintenance fees every year. I am disappointed in the Board for making this ridiculous decision. They should be proud to have a man, who knows more about Ann Arbor than all of them put together, tell the cemetery's stories. I respect Wystan's decision to stop the tours, as I'm getting up in age myself, but to end the tours partially because of this reason is unacceptable. I would hope that others who have loved ones there will also let the Board know how they feel. I wish Wystan the best of luck. I know that he will find rich hunting grounds in Pennsylvania for his historical interests.


Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 1:09 p.m.

"Uncomplimentary complaints"? What does that even mean? The slow, sad death of "old Ann Arbor" continues.


Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 12:52 p.m.

Thanks Wysten for your many years of dedicated service to the community..and best wishes on your move and retirement have always given selfless value to this community going back to the Kemp house days which is more than can be said of our current leadership ...A fellow townie....


Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 12:35 p.m.

Went on one of his tours. It was terrific. The Cemetery Board is being very prissy to restrict him.