The annual Hopeville Rural Music Reunion, held in the ghost town of Hopeville, south of Murray, will be Sunday, Sept. 10. This free musical gathering will start at 11 a.m. with old time gospel music.
Beginning at noon, the 10th annual Jim Overholtzer Memorial Cribbage Tournament will begin in the northeast corner of the county park. With live music in the background, cribbage players will each play five games to determine an overall winner, and award a trophy. Just like the music festival, the cribbage tournament is free to enter.
No paved road goes to Hopeville. The current population in town fluctuates around 15 people. The closest paved road is R15, which is the county highway going south of Murray. Signs are posted from the highway to direct new visitors. Several hundred music lovers are expected to attend each year. Music will play all afternoon until 5 p.m.
Old-time music lovers enjoy the day because all musicians are volunteer groups. In addition to stage performances, jam sessions of musicians occur spontaneously around the wooded park.
This will be the 44th year of the Hopeville Rural Music Reunion, although no festival could be held in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic. Rural musicians are invited to come play any genre of music on stage. Musicians change on stage approximately every 20 minutes. Visitors should bring a lawn chair so they can move as the trees’ shade slides around the park.
For more festival information, contact Cheryl German at Hopeville, 641-447-2699.
A lunch will be served by the only organization in town, the Hopeville Community Church. Hopeville was the first town in Clarke County. The former town square is now the Hopeville Square County Park managed by the Clarke County Conservation Board.
The cribbage tournament winner is determined by the total number of points scored after five games, not by the number of games won. Mathematically, a player can lose all five games and still win the tournament.
Jim Overholtzer was the former postmaster in Grand River, which served the Hopeville community for decades. Jim was an avid cribbage player, and his descendants fund the tournament trophy annually.