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Grave Matters: Victorian Funeral Practices


Our first Grave Matters: Victorian Funeral Practices was enjoyed by all in attendance at the Frey-Fetsock Funeral Home and the Pine Grove Cemetery. The Society would like to thank John Fetsock for opening his business to us and for providing an interesting talk about the sometimes macabre mourning practices of the Victorians and Lincoln’s funeral and burial.

Ruth Altemier took the group to the Pine Grove Cemetery for a visit to the earliest residents of that cemetery first officially chartered in 1881. However, burials were made on the grounds well before that time.  Ruth shared some stories about local people of note who are buried at Pine Grove, and some who may still roam the property.

A well-dressed Victorian mourner was seen both at the funeral home and drifting silently among some old friends at the cemetery. Was she really there?

Indeed, it was only Ellen Drake wearing an authentic collar with jet beading, a short mourning cape and Victorian-era hat.  These items are a treasured part of our collection.  We were so happy to be able to display them.

We hope that we can expand on this seasonal event and have some new surprises and good history as well in 2019.