Guest Author - Debra Conrad
The Annual Dinner in the Cemetery is held every January in the old Yuma Arizona Cemetery, First Avenue and 13th Street.
Sponcered by the Genealogical Society of Yuma, the event features tours of the cemetery from 3 to 8 p.m. Impersonators of the pioneers in the graves tell tales of their lives in early Yuma.
Dinner is served BBQ style. The food is catered locally. The dinner is served by the Genealogical Society and is typical local BBQ Beef, Cole Slaw, Beans and a Roll. It's as if you should expect nothing different...this is is the custom meal for most fund raising meals in the local Yuma Arizona area.
Lots of tables and seating are available... the lines for food are usually short. The wait for the tour is about an hour, but everyone usually finds someone to chat with while in line.
Tickets for the event are available by calling the Yuma Genealogical Society.
The weather can be unpredictable this time of year, but usually it is warm. About 75 degrees and clear, dry and hopefully only a light breeze.
The costumes are home-made affairs. Homespun cloth, long wigs, and tennis shoes. The walks are gravel and not level, so good walking shoes are a must.
The original Immaculate Conception Church Cemetery graves were moved to this location by hand powered R/R cars. These graves are not located in the paupers section. All are privatly owned ang maintained by the families.
Some of the Dead Portraials
* Charles E. Eichelberger - Discovered King of Arizona or Kofa Mine is acutally buried in Prescott, Arizona.
*Bill Greenly - Sherrif of the Arizona Territory when it became a state.
*John W Swilling - 1st Sherriff of Phoenix. Died in Yuma Prison in 1878. Stage robber.
* Carmelita Mayhew - Madam
*William E Marvin - County Recorder and Rough Rider
Winter visitors seem to be the ones who showed up in droves, but many local residents were in attendance. Some old timers were attended and they always love to talk about Yuma and its History. This event usually has about 200 attend annually.
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