Grave Matters and Untimely Departures


The 7th Annual “Grave Matters & Untimely Departures” returns to Fortuna Sunrise Cemetery on Sunday, October 30, from 2 – 6 p.m. for an afternoon of mystery and mayhem.

This year, “Grave Matters” features eight new stories that include anything from a scandalous 1891 romance to a Fortuna bank heist. Each tale has been rigorously researched by Dr. Alexandra Service (curator of the Fortuna Depot Museum) to ensure its validity. “Grave Matters” tells the spooky and disturbing true stories of Fortuna’s PERMANENT residents played by some of the areas finest actors, some of them even returning from years past.

Tickets for “Grave Matters” are $15 and can be purchased on the day of the performance in the Newburg parking lot.

The first tour begins at 2 p.m. and the final tour, dubbed the flashlight tour, will start around 6 p.m. with tours leaving every ten minutes. Each tour runs approximately 50 minutes and will be carried out rain or shine.

Here are some examples of the grave matters and untimely departures you may encounter…

Cemetery Resident: Emma Yeates Lovelace
Actor: Alex Service –

One day in 1884, Emma Lovelace’s husband set out for work at a sawmill. He intended to be gone from home for two weeks. He never reached the mill, and he was never heard from again. Emma died over 40 years later, still seeking to solve the mystery of her husband’s disappearance.

Cemetery Resident: Dessie Tressie Young Nichols Tolman Bledsoe
She was a “Rosie the Riveter” at the Chicago Bridge and Iron Company’s shipyard in Eureka during World War II, and her husband served as a Seabee and one of the first frogmen. Dessie and her family came to California from Oklahoma in the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, driving a horse and wagon because they couldn’t afford a car.

Cemetery Resident: Leroy Wellington “Roy” Enders
Actor: Caleb Haley
On the day after Christmas in 1921, a mysterious gunfight took place at a deserted ranch outside Garberville. Why did the aged highway worker shoot unemployed laborer Roy Enders? What path took Roy from his good conduct record in the U. S. army, to his untimely end?

Learn More Here: