The Heartbreaking End Of Stephanie Hamlet’s Dream – July 13, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Stephanie Hamlet. Photo courtesy Friday Hamlet

Kevin L. Hoover

Eye Editor

ARCATA – Stephanie Hamlet moved to Humboldt to realize the Arcata Dream – to open her own funky little shop, selling crafts fashioned by friends along with her herbal and homeopathic potions, with nights devoted to music also by and for her friends.

In May, 2008, she rented a space in the old Alliance Store and opened up The Emerald, and set about advertising it. One day, Hamlet went around downtown Arcata pinning up little flyers for The Emerald. “It’s my dream,” she explained with a serene smile.

“The entire community is welcome to bring in any items they make (clothes, art, jewelry) to sell at the shop on consignment,” Hamlet wrote in an e-mail. “This new business will really benefit the community. This is going to be the hottest shop in town, especially with the pirate murals on the walls! It is also owned and operated by a 23-year-old woman, which is an inspiration to all young women out there.”

Stephanie Hamlet sings.

The Eye ran a photo of the hopeful young Hamlet, living her dream with her new business.

The Eye's June 3, 2008 Biz page picture.

How profitable the little enterprise was is not known, but like many Arcatans, Hamlet supplemented her income in the booming cannabis industry. “Her friends would grow pot and hire her to pick and trim it for them,” said her aunt, Friday Hamlet, a South Dakota resident. “She would make thousands of dollars.”

Hamlet’s Arcata idyll lasted only a few months. On Sept. 29, 2008, a fire tore through the Alliance Store building, gutting The Emerald and rendering the historic structure unuseable – as it remains to this day.

“This is my hopes and dreams going up in flames,” Hamlet told the Times-Standard. “This is my heart and soul. My life’s work went into this.”

Firefighters tear apart Alliance Market to put out the fire. TMc | Eye

Arcata Fire discovered a 214-plant, 340 square foot cannabis grow in the building, with some 14 grow lights and the usual homebrew electrical rig taxing the building’s aged wiring. The fire’s origins weren’t traced directly to the grow – the blaze originated somewhere in the wiring around the old store’s meat locker. No one was prosecuted.

“It broke her heart,” said Friday. “She had been working very hard to make her potions and lotions and things.”

Hamlet moved on, but things weren’t the same for her. She got married the following June and traveled to Europe. On returning, she told her aunt that she was giving up on resuming her Arcata life.

“Forget it,” she said, announcing plans to move to Southern California and get a fresh start.

She never made it.

On Oct. 1, 2009, one year nearly to the day after her dream went up in flames, a blue-colored, unconscious Hamlet was dropped off at the Mad River Community Hospital ER by an unidentified male, who promptly disappeared. She had no heartbeat.

The coroner’s report lists heavy alcohol consumption and multiple prescription medicines as the cause of death.

Stephanie Hamlet’s obituary describes her as “a doctor of alternative medicine, a world traveler, writer and poet.”

Inside Alliance Store, the ruins of The Emerald. KLH | Eye

Stephanie Hamlet

EUREKA, Calif. – Stephanie Hamlet, 25, Eureka, passed away Thursday, Oct. 1, 2009.

She was a doctor of alternative medicine, a world traveler, writer and poet.

She will be truly missed.

Survivors include her parents, Gene and Lynne Hamlet; her brother, Greg Hamlet; and all her friends.

Condolences may be sent to FVM Hamlet.

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10 Responses to “The Heartbreaking End Of Stephanie Hamlet’s Dream – July 13, 2010”

  1. I remember covering that blaze for The Eureka Reporter. She was quite distraught, but positive nonetheless. It saddens me that she died due to drug/alcohol overdose.

  2. FVM Hamlet

    I receiced 3 copies of this first I was shocked…about the blue at the hospital and the DOA part… about being left alone at the hospital(!!!!!!!????) ARE YOU CRAZY?? That NEVER HAPPENED!!!Good one….that might happen too you someday but in the case your facts ARE TOTALY WRONG!!..then I realied that Steffy died in Sept. and you are still running the most hateful and painful things things you can about her…she goes out with friends, get’s in one agurement…takes somes she does not know any thing about…AND WOW WHAT A STORY A IT’S HEAD LINES!!! I sent a copy to our Belfast Family…they told me not to worry…Hell has a lot of STORY TELLERS in it….half truths do not make a story, I am sure you can turn your love and attetion to the living…or do they fight back!!???
    My sister said that this paper printed some other unkind words about how Steffy got the money for this store…(mom. me, cousins in US and Ireland…what a shocker)….Steffy…paid for cancer med’s and treatment for a friends father…she helped others with her kindness, love and never judged anyone….at her WAKES…people came from all over the world….they would stand up and tell how their parents were going to lose their farm and she helped, she took the time to talk to the bank and helped with back payments, she had took in who kids that needed help.. clothed them, fed them and helped them realize not to listen the the mean sick people of this world….they take and take and never care about anyone, what they say or who they hurt…
    And oh..when you asked me if she just fell in with a bad crowd…the answer was NO…it was not until she moved to your little corner of the world that Steffy found out…that you’ll where growing,picking and (?) cutting grass! What’s cutting??
    So.. move on…talk about who’s growing, who’s doing what ever…you can make up about them….and quit running your lips about…someone that you still can’t get out of your mind and move ON!!! Friday…

  3. Gina

    I am so saddened by the loss of this beautiful soul. Her family loved her very much and she loved them and everyone else. One mistake does not a life make.

  4. commiehoover

    god what pos article.

  5. Jennifer

    So… she was a pot-growing drug addict who most likely caused her “dream store” to go up in flames. Neat article.

  6. Andrew B


    Dear Kevin,um you got alot of your story wrong and not that good of article,shoulda took the time to talk to friens and family a bit more huh,i love you Stephanie!!!

  7. The story doesn’t say anyone was a drug addict. If you have issues with the listed cause of death you should take it up with the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office.

  8. Andrew B

    i was referring to a comment..

  9. Norman

    Since when is “alternative medicine” prescription drugs and alcohol? Yes this is a sad story but it is reflective of Arcata’s new time. A pseudo business that exists because of pot and an alternative lifestyle which is about drugs and alcohol and not alternative medicine. This is a life lost to a lost lifestyle. And it is sad and tragic.

  10. Anonymous

    This is a very strengths based article, the writer did well in his how he listed her behaviors. The writer never accused this young lady of wrong and even listed her challenges ‘as alternative medicine and alternative lifestyle’. R.I.Paridise Stephanie.


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