Memorial orchard in Fortuna will honor fallen officers

Mary Bullwinkel

Beacon Correspondent

Several apple, plum and pear trees were added to the memorial orchard in Fortuna last weekend by local law enforcement representatives, Humboldt County 2nd District Supervisor Estelle Fennell and community volunteers.

Plaques are being made and will be placed in the orchard in the near future to honor all fallen law enforcement officers in Humboldt County. The orchard is located next to the Fortuna Garden Project, just off Newburg Road.

Dedicating the orchard to local law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty was an idea proposed by the family of California Highway Patrol Officer Thomas Adams. Adams was killed in a car accident in February 2011 while on duty in the Garberville area. His parents, Bruce and Kean Adams, describe the orchard as a most appropriate honor for all fallen officers in this community.

"This is turning something terrible into something positive," Bruce Adams said.

Adams is one of nine fallen officers to be honored in the memorial orchard. Others include CHP Officers Paul C. Jarske, stationed in the Laytonville office, who died in 1981, and Kenneth E. Marshall, stationed in the Humboldt area office, who died in 1968.

Honorees from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department are Sheriff Gene Cox, who died in November 1982, and Marine Posse Deputy Leonard Lamoreaux, who died in October 1965.

The Eureka Police Department will have three fallen officers honored: Pete Hugh Carroll, who died in October 1937, Joseph Patrick Mitchell, who died in December 1974, and Charles D. Swanson, who died in November 1996.

Fortuna Police Officer Ray Mills, who died in March 1967, will also be among the honored.

The trees planted last weekend were placed into holes dug by students from the Eel River Community School, and community volunteers helped dig additional holes for more trees. No date has been set at this time for the orchard dedication.

Photo caption:

Mary Bullwinkel/Beacon

Fortuna Police Sgt. Charles Ellebrecht readies to plant a fruit tree in the memorial orchard, with assistance from Fortuna Garden Project Coordinator Steve Palecki.