First Ever Drive-Thru Dunmore Cemetery Tour

Participants in October’s annual Cemetery Tour sponsored by the Dearly Departed Players included, from row, from left: Laura Doyle and Julie Esty, tour director, with Maura Mark of United Neighborhood Centers of NEPA. Back row, same order: Jake Mozeleski, Crista Gaskill, Nelson Wood, Christine McGeachie, Roger Mattes, Amy Black, Leslie Kirchner and Wendy Belaski. Not pictured: S. Robert Powell and Kathy Sponenberg.

The Dearly Departed Players rolled through the cemetery with the first ever drive-thru edition of the Dunmore Cemetery Tour on Oct. 4.  With the tour beginning at 2 p.m., cars were lined up down Warren Street, past Dunmore  High School and out to Quincy Avenue. Vehicles  also lined Church Street.  

A total of 170 cars went through before The Players got a very slight lull, then the procession started up again in force and continued until 4 p.m.  At least 350 cars went through, each car averaging between two and four people in each.  The drive through tour took almost 25 minutes to complete.

Participants were given a copy of the guidebook, “Who’s Who in the Dunmore Cemetery.”  With this guide book, participants were able to drive through the cemetery and learn about 12 cemetery “residents” and their historical significance.  Following the tour, they could use the guidebook, compiled by tour director, Julie Esty, to take a walking or drive-through tour at their leisure.  

The cemetery was decorated with corn stalks, harvest wreaths and scarecrows. In addition, Space Time Mead and Cider Works, Jerry’s for all Seasons, Dunmore Federation of Teachers, Lackawanna Historical Society, Carlucci – Golden- DeSantis Funeral Home, Miller Bean Funeral Home and Steven’s Wreaths donated decorations or sponsored and decorated a mausoleum or gravesite with harvest decor.  

Due to a sizable donation of fall flowers by the Dollar Store, 30 bouquets of flowers were assembled and laid at the gravesites of 30 Civil War soldiers buried in the Civil War section of the cemetery.  

The Dearly Departed Players were also assisted by Dunmore Mayor Timothy Burke and the Dunmore Police Department.  Gertrude Hawk Chocolates and PS Advertising  also contributed to the tour.  As always, Sam Quinn and the employees of the Dunmore Cemetery did a top notch job with the maintenance of the cemetery grounds.

Spaced throughout the cemetery, the Dearly Departed Players assisted the procession  through the cemetery.  Each Player reported numerous positive comments and thank you’s from the public for continuing  the annual event. The Players also reported that some tour attendees got back in line immediately following their first trip through the cemetery to take the tour again.

Suggested tour admission was the donation of non-perishable food items for Feed-a-Friend.  At the end of the tour Players reported that almost every collection barrel was overflowing with donations.  

Tour director Julie Esty stated, “We adapted, the public adapted.  It worked well and it was a joy to see everyone.  Good things happen in the cemetery! We will see everyone again in 2021!”

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