Meet the Guides
Garret Moffett –Is the creator and owner of Springfield Walks and brings twelve years of domestic and some international tour guide experience to the streets of Springfield. Originally from Macomb, Illinois Garret now resides in Lincoln, Illinois with his wife Monica and teenage daughter Madalyn. He is a descendant of southern aristocracy being the great nephew of the late T.B. Buckles, well known in the oil and logging industry in the south. Garret's family once owned the antebellum plantation home D'Evereaux in Natchez, Mississippi.
Garret earned an Associate Degree in Nursing, but his love for history was always in the back of his mind. Working off and on as a nurse Garret spent several months at a time traveling Japan and Europe and eventually began escorting families and small groups through Europe on short trips. Returning to the states Garret served as Vice-President of the Western Illinois Regional Museum in 2004 and served as the Chairman of the Historical Task Force under the guise of the Community Quality of Life Advisory Committee 2004-06. He has also written and contributed to numerous local history articles and publications.
In 2002, Garret created Macomb's first haunted history tour which received several local awards over five years. In 2005 Garret's Haunted History Walk took the top honor in the state out of 55 other communities vying for the prestigious "Main Street Award for Historical Development." With the opening of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum Garret's attention turned towards Springfield.
Garret was the first to offer this new form of tourism business in Springfield and Lincoln's Ghost Walk trial tours began in mid-August 2005.
Since then Garret has continued to develop walking tours in downtown Springfield with great success. The tours have been well received and supported by local businesses, local government, and the historic sites. Springfield Walks has received accolades in national and international press since its inception.
Garret has also published three books; Lincoln's Ghost: Legends & Lore(Author House 2009) Haunted Macomb(The History Press 2010) Haunted Springfield (The History Press 2011).
Garret also plays the character of Ward Hill Lamon for Springfield. Lamon was a close friend and law associate and Abraham Lincoln, He was a U.S. marshal and Lincoln's personal bodyguard, but was away on the nation's business that fateful theater night; a regret Lamon had to live with the rest of his life. During the summer History Comes Alive programs you can find Garret tending to Lincoln or walking the streets engaging with the tourists.
Future walking tours and special events are in the works.
|Dana Quinn - Dana has lived in Springfield all his life and graduated from Lanphier High School in 1982 and is currently the proud father of three children. He has always had a love for science and history, but especially Civil War, Old West, and Titanic history. But he also loves his Star Trek! In the 90s Dana began a Star Trek fan base in Springfield and their club worked with the Children's Miracle Network street fair and other food drive charities. Dana is a trained scuba diver but an unfortunate injury forced him out of a career as a saturation diver. Working as a crane operator Dana later finally launched his own janitorial service.
As Dana grew up and ghosts tours and ghost shows on TV were on the rise to popularity Dana recalled experiencing paranormal events as a child and his interest in the paranormal had now resurfaced. In 1998 the Quinn family moved into an old house and began experience ghostly phenomenon and subsequently joined the Springfield Ghost Society. He's been a member for several years and is now a board member and a lead investigator for the group. He is also the founder of Nighthawk Paranormal Investigations.
In the fall of 2010 Garret Moffett hired Dana to provide assistance and security for the Haunted Dead Tour. Due to the large size of the groups the groups had to be split into two groups and Dana found himself in the role of tour guide. Dana has a knowledge of Springfield's ghostly history and his macabre presentation style has made Dana quite the popular tour guide with Springfield Walks.
"I think that the best part is the people on the tour, meeting them one on one. Though you give the same type of tour every night, the tour is different because of the energy the people give you. You never know who's going to show up and you never know how they're going to react to the paranormal events that occur on the tour. We have a lot of people that come back and retake the tour, some returned 3-4 times. I think that is GREAT !!!! It tells me that they enjoyed our tours enough to return for another taste of the unknown".
Dana leads the Haunted Dead Walks and been known to show up for work in his Cadillac hearse.
|Erica Smith - Erica is the newest addition to the Springfield Walks family leading the Lincoln's Ghost Walk. She has a BA in English from McKendree College, and an MA in English from the University of Westminster in London, England.
Erica, an experienced actress minored in theater during college and participates in community theater shows today. She has performed in several productions at Theater in the Park at New Salem. In 2009 she played the lead role of Sarah Bush Lincoln in the theater production of Heritage. Erica has also portrayed a variety of historical characters in ghost walks held at Calvary Cemetery and at Edwards Place.
Erica is a Springfield native recalled visiting the Lincoln sites as part of grade school field trips, but she never realized her interest in Lincoln history until she played the role of Sarah Bush Lincoln. Since then Erica has been fascinated by the Lincoln story.
"Feeling you are a part of history gives you an insight into the human side of iconic historical figures," she said. "I enjoy learning more about Lincoln as a regular guy - since I played Sarah, I've gained a whole new appreciation for Abraham Lincoln the son, husband, father, and lawyer, as well as Abraham Lincoln the President."
By day Erica works at St. John's Hospital in Public Relations, and in her free time enjoys reading, American history, travelling, flowers, running and writing.