OF MOLLY’S GHOST
is the story about the legend of Molly’s Ghost and so
begins the tale of passion, obsession, murder, mystery,
and haunting in the late 1800s or early 1900s. A miner
named E.V. Tiffany found gold in Plymouth, California
and was soon a wealthy man. After going to school to
become a Doctor, he returned to Plymouth and built a
home, The Plymouth House, over the mineshaft where the
gold was found.
was one of the few lucky ones who used his wealth
wisely, but perhaps not for the right reasons. By all
sign, Doc Tiffany was a good man, but there were a few
threads of immorality in his character.
mineshaft beneath his home became his cellar and
hideaway for the Friday night poker games with the local
gentry. Not known to the wives and other town people was
a hidden tunnel in Doc’s cellar that connected it to the
Easton Hotel across the street.
Through this tunnel Doc and his friends traveled to
visit the “ladies of the evening” at the hotel with no
one being the wiser.
secret passage set the stage for lust, greed, jealousy,
betrayal, and murder.
Tiffany was lucky in his early quest for gold. This was
not so for many others of his day.
Among those was a young widow and mother whose husband
had died looking for his fortune. Molly “Fitz”
Fitzsimmons was left to raise two small children in a
time and place that had little compassion for such a
task. Molly turned to prostitution, the only way she
found to support her family.
Although Molly was repulsed by what she did, she was
soon one of the more popular ladies with Doc’s cronies.
Carl Fenton, a member of the local gentry, and a regular
at the Friday night poker games, became obsessed with
Molly. Carl offered Molly a home and stipend to be his
alone. Molly would accept nothing less than marriage.
Carl was married to a very wealthy woman and was not
willing to give up the luxury to which he had become
accustomed. He nonetheless continued his pursuit of
Molly. She repeatedly stated her reply – marriage or
nothing! Carol was reportedly heard to say, “If I can’t
have her, no man will.”
Several weeks later, Doc was awakened by strangled cries
coming from the cellar. Since this was not a poker
night, no one should have been in the cellar.
Cautiously, lantern in hand, Doc crept down the stairs,
listening for further sounds.
“Who’s there?” he called out as he neared the tunnel
entrance. Only gurgling sounds answered his calls.
Holding the lantern high, he eased into the tunnel. He
had only taken a few steps when his lamp shown on a pile
of rumpled clothing. As he rushed forward, Molly’s
bloody face appeared from the rumpled pile.
Wrapping Molly in a sheet, Doc struggled to get her
upstairs to his examining room. At 11:59 p.m. on
November 25,1921, Molly died, unable to utter the name
of her killer.
was laid to rest at Potters Field. No arrest was ever
made for her death, even after Carl Fenton mysteriously
disappeared, claiming his wife and suddenly become ill
and needed his undivided attention.
took a few years, but word finally got out to the wives
about the secret tunnel between Doc. Tiffany’s house and
the Easton Hotel. In 1923, in a horrible “accident”, the
Easton Hotel burned to the ground, never to be rebuilt.
mineshaft has long been filled in with rocks, but at the
entrance stands a glass box encasing a silent statue
placed in memory of one who died too young and too
Through the years soft gurgling moans, rustling
petticoats, and the reflection of Molly’s bloodied face
in the glass encasement have been hears and seen as
Molly’s ghost is thought to roam the basement. She is
looking for her killer, wanting to know why her life was
taken so violently, leaving two small children without a
Molly never leaves the basement where her
young life ended.