Tree-planting ceremony held in remembrance of Patty Hill, Dunsmuir's 'Village Harpist'

Shareen Strauss
Patty Hill's great-grandchildren and Jimmy Limo, her partner of seven years, planted a Colorado blue spruce at Sacramento Avenue and Cedar Street and placed a plaque in honor of Hill, who was known as the Dunsmuir Village Harpist. The ceremony drew family members from across the country as well as City Council members and community members on Oct. 7 to honor her memory.

A tree-planting memorial ceremony was held for Dunsmuir's Patty Hill who was known as the Dunsmuir Village Harpist. 

Born in Dunsmuir in 1939, Hill was an active community member. She was president of the Dunsmuir Garden Club, helped during Railroad Days and Candles in the Canyon, and put omany fundraisers.

The Dunsmuir community honored her Thursday evening, Oct. 7, by planting a Colorado blue spruce called a "Fat Albert." The tree will grow 20 feet and be used as the annual Christmas tree for the starting point for the Candles in the Canyon parade.

Hill's beloved partner, Jimmy Limo, City Council members, three generations of her family and community members came out to celebrate and help plant the tree on Sacramento Avenue at the end of Cedar Street where there are other memorial trees. 

On Oct. 7, members of the community, Dunsmuir City Council, friends, and family came together to plant a Colorado blue spruce on Sacramento Avenue at the end of Cedar Streetin memory of Patty Hill, known as the" Dunsmuir Villiage Harpist." She passed away in 2017.

"Patty hated that we cut down a tree every year for the town's Christmas tree. We were first going to put it on Pine Street downtown but the arborist recommended this location because it would grow too large for the first location," Limo said. "The whole family from around the country came to Dunsmuir for this event and the wedding of her granddaughter who is getting married here at the Botanical Gardens this weekend." 

With support from the Dunsmuir council, two other Colorado blue spruce trees were bought and will be gifted to Hill's granddaughter Ayla (Peters) Waldrep and Jake Waldrep as wedding gifts.  

Each person added a shovel of dirt to the tree. A plaque and fairy lights will be added because of Hill's love of fairies. 

Andrea Herr, who is part owner of the Dunsmuir Brewery Works, said: "Patty came every Sunday for seven years to play the harp at the brewery. She taught adults and children to play the harp. She was also a fabulous piano player as well." 

Her daughter, Mary Floyd, said she misses her every day. "She gave me a love of Dunsmuir. She wrote a children's book called "Love from the Mountain" that I hope to get published."

Councilman Peter Arth, who Patty Hill saw as her brother, said: "The council thanks Jimmy for putting together this Patty Hill Memorial. In an era of selfishness, she was selfless."