Holiday wreaths dress up the Dunmore Cemetery

The Dearly Departed Players were back in the Dunmore Cemetery on Black Friday, but not for walking tours. 

During the harvest season, visitors to the cemetery informed the Players that they enjoyed the autumn decorations so much that they wished the troupe could do something for the Christmas holiday.  Trying to honor the request, the Players affixed 20 wreaths to mausoleum doors.

According to tour director Julie Esty, the Players don’t have funding for an event in another season but creative use of repurposed wreaths, wreaths donated by the now defunct Dunmore Historical Society, and ribbon donated by Vince Parise and his late wife, Carol, helped make the project a reality.

Some of the mausoleums decorated included George Catlin, founding member of the Lackawanna Historical Society; former Congressman Thomas Henry Dale, Fenwick Peck, United States Lumber; and Thomas Dickson, president of the Delaware and Hudson Railroad. The massive Receiving Vault of the Dunmore Cemetery was also decorated with evergreen wreaths with red velvet and buffalo plaid bows.

Another successful season for Dearly Departed Players

The Dearly Departed Players returned to the Dunmore Cemetery for another successful year of historical walking tours with almost 700 people in attendance for tours on Oct. 2 and 9.  

Under the direction of Julie Esty, The Dearly Departed Players relayed stories of some of the cemetery residents. The theme of the tour this year addressed some of the struggles experienced over the last two years due to the pandemic.  But, in usual Dearly Departed Player fashion, some lighthearted moments won the day and  the tours ended with messages of hope.  

The cemetery was decorated in a harvest theme thanks to the Dearly Departed Players, Lackawanna Historical Society, Space Time Mead and Cider, Carlucci Golden DeSantis Funeral Home, Gertrude Hawk, Scranton Films, CaPAA/Ritz Theater, and Kim Bochicchio.  

According to Esty, the harvest decor has expanded the reach of the two-day event. The harvest décor attracted visitors to drive through the cemetery in the week between the tours to view the décor.  A number of families were noted using  the décor for family photos.  

In 2019 The Dearly Departed Players assisted descendants of Merrill’s Marauder’s in obtaining a Congressional Gold Medal for the famed fighters who battled fearlessly in World War II. The Dunmore Cemetery is the final rest of Robert Nicholson, a member of the legendary group of soldiers. A high point of the tours this year was the attendance of Marauder Nicholson’s 76-year-old son, John Nicholson of Hopatcong, NJ.  His father’s service was recognized during the Oct. 2 tour. 

Esty stated that after two years of drive-through tours due to the pandemic,the Players were glad to be back in the cemetery and seeing their wonderful audience  in person once again.  

Tours for 2022 are over but the Dearly Departed Players will return to the Dunmore Cemetery next year on the first two Sundays in October for an all new tour.

Annual cemetery tour to set to return in October

The Dearly Departed Players will return to a walking tour this year for the annual tour at Dunmore Cemetery to be held on Sundays Oct. 2 and 9. Tours will start promptly at 2 p.m. and run about 90 minutes. Comfortable walking shoes are suggested. Admission is free. For information, call 570-344-3819.

The Dearly Departed Players will be in the cemetery with a new round of people from the past, including both serious and humorous moments planned.  

For the past two years, the COVID pandemic forced the Players to refashion the tour so attendees could drive through the cemetery, so there is excitement about returning to the original walking format.

In addition to the tour, there will be a premiere of Luz Cabrales and Scranton Films award-winning Dunmore Cemetery Tour documentary on Friday, Sept. 30, at St. Lucy’s Parish Hall in Scranton.  There will be some nice activities going on from 6 to 7 p.m., followed by a showing of the documentary at 7 o’clock.  Admission for that is $5 and refreshments will be served.