"Dearly Departed" - October 22 & 23, 2010

19th Century Mourning Rituals and Beliefs on Death and Dying

A sold-out crowd enjoyed some historic fall fun at the Colonel Palmer House.  Volunteers from the Crystal Lake Historical Society presented a factual and sometimes humorous look at the customs and superstitions that were part of the Victorian mourning process.  Guests entered the pre-Civil War home as it is staged for the loss of a loved one who has "crossed over the deep river" as the Victorians called it.  The 60-minute performance began in the cellar and then moved through the rooms of the home.  Living history interpreters portayed such early residents as a preacher, an undertaker, a spiritualist, a grieving widow, a medical doctor, and a photographer.  At the end of the tour, there was a presentation on the meanings of symbolisms and inscriptions found on the headstones of the period.

View photos from "Dearly Departed"