Tag Archives: #funerals

How I Learned to Play the Spoons

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How I Learned to  Play the Spoons

 

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There were lots of Irish where I came from in the Eastern Townships in Quebec and their funeral and wake customs probably came over from Ireland with the waves of Irish who came to work as labourers. The Irish certainly had and have many funeral customs and superstitions about death. In the olden days the Irish wakes sometimes became so rowdy that sometimes the corpse was taken out of the box and dragged around the dance floor.

In the early 1900s the body was placed in a coffin and brought outside the house. There, the open coffin was laid across some chairs, where it remained until time to carry it to the graveyard. Mourners kiss the deceased prior to the lid being placed on the coffin.

The journey to the church and then onto the graveyard was a long and arduous trip. Four of the closest relatives carried the coffin at a quick pace. They would be relieved by four more along the way and so it went until they reached the church. After the service, the procession would continue, again on foot, until reaching the graveside. The coffin was lowered into the grave and the clay, the common soil in Ireland, was shoveled over it. The spade and shovel were laid on top of the new grave in the form of a cross.

When I went to wakes as a young gal in Quebec the open casket was in the middle of the community hall. Cases of beer filled the hall along with square dancing in front of the coffin until the time of burial. Photographs were taken of the dead and to this day I know many older family friends who have scrapbook photos of the deceased in his or her coffin.

So at one particular wake the band was playing many reels like the one below. I was watching the body intently to see if there was any movement to the music.  I figure one of the band members saw me so he motioned me to come up to the front and learn to play the spoons.

 

 

What do I know about playing spoons I asked? He showed me how to hold them and told me to hold the two spoons like they were mad at each other. It took awhile but after a few hours I was playing spoons. I am nowhere like my idol Abby the Spoon Lady, but I still have the beat– somewhere.

 

Musical Notes About the Rosetta Violin

The Heirlooms- Ferguson Violin

Dueling Shoes and Fiddles and Step Dancing Contest July 15 1974

Notes of Lanark County Dances and Fiddlers

Good Old Lanark County Music–From the 70s to now

Fiddling in Lanark County by David Ennis

 

Fiddler’s Hill— Where the Green Grass Doesn’t Grow in Lanark

How Heavenly Funeral Potatoes Got Their Name

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How Heavenly Funeral Potatoes Got Their Name

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This week my friend Bobby Lyons from Cincinnati posted a Walmart Facebook ad that has actually been rolling around since 2018  (you’re slippin RG) for “funeral potatoes” from Walmart.  Yup, you read that correctly. But what are they?

Believe it or not, “Funeral Potatoes” is not actually their technical name–it’s usually something like Cheesy Potato Casserole.  These are often found served with ham on festive holiday dinner tables as well as luncheons following funerals which, shockingly, is how they got their name.

Why are funeral potatoes are so delicious? We chalk it up to the heartfelt care and sympathy with which they’re prepared. I’m not crying. You’re crying  carbs and fats which make us happy. Though they have a sombre name, funeral potatoes are truly the ultimate comfort food. Potatoes to die for and Walmart’s version has a shelf life of up to 18 months! Holy Mother of you know who!

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A dish of funeral potatoes is supposedly a way to show your support and sympathy for a grieving family. To make them yourself,  and you could follow the Pioneer Woman’s go-to funeral potatoes recipe. The ingredients list isn’t long, nor fancy either. While it’s not difficult to put together, it does bake up into a truly comforting and filling side dish. Her recipe includes as a base frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, which makes the casserole prep even easier. It also includes assorted cheeses, sour cream, and a topping of kettle-cooked potato chips, among other ingredients. While you are at she also has a funeral episode you might want to take a gander at.

Upon doing a little digging through my dusty mind I discovered I’ve actually had funeral potatoes many times, which I always knew as cheesy hash browns. There are countless variations of the casserole-type side dish, but the general recipe calls for ‘taters, cheese, some kind of cream soup, sour cream, and a crunchy top made of cereal or potato chips. Life could be tragic, if some things weren’t so darn funny. I just figured out that lint from my dryer is actually the remains of my missing socks.

Alex Knisely  — When I brings ’em I cooks ’em and I hands ’em over to the kinfolk of the dear departed, sayin’, Take the salt off the table when you serve these, darlin’, ’cause they’re watered with my tears.

Recipe

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DIRECTIONS FOR: FUNERAL POTATOES CLICK here.

See this picture below- want a funny read? Read

Fashion Faux Pas in the Cemetery

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How Religion Came to Richmond and the First Masonic Funeral

The Young Family Funeral Home Lanark County

The Woman Who Got the Dead End Sign Removed in Carleton Place

Ed Fleming — The First Funeral Parlour in Carleton Place

Funerals With Dignity in Carleton Place – Just a Surrey with a Fringe on Top —- Our Haunted Heritage

Blast From the Past–Remembering Alan Barker– July 4 1979

Dead Ringers –To Live and Die in Morbid Times

The Ashton Funeral to end all Funerals

The Last Man to Let you Down? Political Leanings at Local Funeral Homes?

Embalming 1891 – A Local Report

What was one of the Largest Funerals in Lanark County?

Things You Just Don’t say at a Funeral— Even if you Are a Professional Mourner

A Tale From the Patterson Funeral Home — Carleton Place

Blast From the Past–Remembering Alan Barker– July 4 1979

Embalming 1891 – A Local Report

Being a Tombstone Tourist

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Being a Tombstone Tourist

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Being a tombstone tourist sounds pretty ghoulish doesn’t it? But if you are a genealogist, or a local history buff like myself, you are going to spend a lot of time wandering local cemeteries. I find myself wondering about the stories behind the graves as well- every person counts in my mind as they were part of the community. When I was a young girl my Mother was in the hospital most of the time, but when she wasn’t she had my Father drive us to all the cemeteries in Brome-Missisquoi in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. After all, to her they were kind of like parks without the crowd

Bernice Ethylene Crittenden Knight wanted me to know who I was related to, and even those that I wasn’t related too. She told me that a cemetery can tell you about a culture and history of an area and she was right. At that age I wasn’t totally enamoured of the idea, and constantly worried what my black patent Mary Jane shoes were walking on. Rural cemeteries became the poor person’s art gallery, offering carvings, statues, and buildings of spectacular local craftsmanship.

 

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She always pointed out the symbols of flowers on the gravestone, which were known to have their own language.  A rose could signify love, or friendship, and it could also mean innocence or secrecy.  There were many roses in the cemeteries she took me too due to early death during childbirth, or unwanted or secret pregnancies. Calla Lilies represent marriage and fidelity and a Lily of the Valley signified innocence, humility and renewal. Speaking of flowers; my late sister Robin in later years horrified us all one day when she gathered up all the flowers in the United/Union Church Cemetery and sold them to folks living on Dieppe Blvd. We were number one on the gossip sheet for weeks.

Did you know that a cemetery was one of the first places where upper and middle-class Victorian women could wander unchaperoned and unmolested? After cemeteries became fashion in the 1830s they were thought to be extensions of the home (of which women were the chatelaines and guardians, of course), and hence an appropriate place for women to attend at their leisure. Women took full advantage of this freedom, and frequently walked and talked with their friends as they would in an ordinary public park, without worrying that men would bother or accost them. My Mother never thought about these rules of the past, she just thought it was a great place to picnic while my Dad sat in the car refusing to venture in.

I love a good wander around a cemetery. I like reading the headstones and thinking about who that person was. That person was so important to somebody that they were commemorated for hundreds of years– similar to the funerals beforehand. Did you know that a funeral was so costly but so important, that lower class families often went without the necessities of life because the family refused to spend their funerary funds on things like food, clothing, and shelter?  How could parents starve their children to ensure that they could bury them? That was because families who were unable to provide for a proper funeral and burial of their loved ones were forced to rely on the local powers to be who would provide the bare minimum in burial – a pauper’s funeral.

 

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There were lots of Irish where I came from and their funeral customs probably came over from Ireland with the waves of Irish who came to work as labourers. The Irish certainly had and have many funeral customs and superstitions about death. Irish wakes sometimes became so rowdy that the corpse was taken out of the box and dragged around the dance floor. When I went to funerals as a young gal the open casket was in the middle of the community hall. Cases of beer filled the hall along with square dancing in front of the coffin until the time of burial.

At any rate, what I was taught among other things was that you should wear black to visit the cemetery. You should appear as a “shadow” rather than a body so the dead person’s spirit won’t enter your body. Oh boy….

One of my favourite flowers Lily of the Valley grew everywhere among the headstones, and after my Mother died they sent home her blue Samsonite suitcase. When I opened it a bottle of her favourite perfume Coty’s Lily of the Valley had broken inside. For years, each time I opened that suitcase, I relived the rare hours spent with my Mother, and remembered how she spoke of that flower representing innocence, humility and renewal on the tombstones. That is how I try to live my life before I become one of those names of a tombstone.

 

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Charles Neville Ross Here’s one. There were a couple of grave diggers hand digging a new burial plot in one of the cemeteries in Sherbrooke. a couple of mischievous kids crawled up on them to scare them. When they popped out from behind and adjacent head stone the both of them ran away so fast they left their shoes behind. My Dad swore it really happened.

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place and The Tales of Almonte

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George Bailey –Headstone– the Cemetery on the Ninth line

The Sinclair Family Cemetery–Photos by Lawrie Sweet with Sinclair Genealogy Notes

Did You Know They Moved St. Paul’s Cemetery?

Have You Ever Paid Tribute to our Pioneers? Middleville Pioneer Cemetery

Just a Field of Stones Now? “The Old Perth Burying Ground” Now on Ontario Abandoned Places?

The Old Burying Ground — Perth

The Clayton Methodist Cemetery

St. Mary’s “Old” Cemetery

In Memory of the Very Few–Adamsville Burial Site

The Oldest Cemetery in Drummond

So Who was Buried First in the Franktown Cemetery?

Kings Warks and Cemeteries–Interesting Discoveries of Lanark County

The Ghost Lights in St. James Cemetery

The Forgotten Cemetery at the End of Lake Ave West

Stairway to Heaven in a Cemetery? Our Haunted Heritage

Before and After — Auld Kirk

The Ghost Lights in St. James Cemetery

Young Hearts Run Free — Warning– Story Could be Upsetting to Some

The Young Family Funeral Home Lanark County

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The Young Family Funeral Home Lanark County

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One of my joys this year in 2017 was visiting the Middleville & District Museum in the heart of Lanark County. I could not believe this place– it was everything I ever wished for in history displays. (Did you Know we have a “World Class Museum” right in Lanark County?)

These photos of the hearse from the Middleville Museum was used for funerals around Lanark County by the Young family Funeral Home in the Village of Lanark, Ontario. A team of black horses pulled it for the funeral, and if  a child had passed, the black horses were switched for white ones. A hearse and horses laden with ostrich plumes were indicative of a person’s wealth and often families hired extra horses festooned with plumes. Two plumes meant that the deceased was of modest means while three to four meant that he or she was better off. If you could afford five or six plumes you were wealthy, but having seven plumes was reserved for the truly rich.

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There was a detachable black wooded cross for Roman Catholic funerals, and in the winter the hearse was mounted on runners to master those rural winter roads. For the poor, about $8 Canadian today, one could have a hearse with one horse, a mourning coach also with one horse, an elm coffin covered in black with handles, mattress, pillow, side sheets and a coachmen with a black crepe band.

The deceased were waked in their homes in those days before embalming. The family placed wide black crepe roses with matching black ribbons on their front door to warn visitors it was a house of mourning. Friends and family gathered in the parlour to support the family and pay their respects. In the summer buckets of ice were placed under the coffin to keep the corpse cool.

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The hearse came to the home to pick up the coffin that was covered with the floral tributes and sometimes sheaves of grain were used to honour the deceased. The procession made its way from the deceased person’s house towards the cemetery but often made a detour through a busy part of town to get the maximum effect for the money spent. Once the trip through town was complete, the procession moved into a brisk trot until the cemetery gates were reached and then a sedate walk was in order towards the chapel for the ceremony. The burial itself was witnessed by the men only and then the whole group returned to the house for a meal.This particular hearse was last used for the funeral of Mrs James Dodd in 1944.

 

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Photos- Linda Seccaspina with Files from the Middleville Museum

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Perth Courier, Jan. 8, 1897

Pepper—Died, at Lanark on Thursday, Dec. 24, Eliza Taylor Pepper, relict of the late William Pepper, aged 86(?).

Death of Mrs. Peter McIntyre—The subject of the following sketch, whose maidenname was Christina Craig, and who died on Thursday, Dec. 31, was born near Lochearnhead, Paisley, Scotland, in 1810.  She was married in 1830 and with her husband emigrated to this country in 1831 when they settled in Drummond on the farm now occupied by Archibald McTavish where they remained until 1840 when they removed to her home in Bathurst near Balderson.  Deceased was greatly respected  and much beloved by all who knew her. She was a devout Christian and a member of the Presbyterian Church.  It was always a joy to her to fulfill the divine injunction to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and to minister to the afflicted.  Her family, which consisted of six children, are:  Findlay, deceased, who was at one time a bookkeeper for the late Boyd Caldwell of Lanark; and Duncan who died at the age of five years.  Those who survive are:  Mrs. Ansley(?) Keyes of this town; Lizzie C. and John P. on the homestead and Peter on his farm adjoining.  The funeral took place Sunday afternoon, Jan. 3 when Rev. J.S. McIlraith conducted the services and gave an appropriate address from Isaiah 57-1, the righteous perish and no man layeth it to heart.  A large assembly accompanied the remains of the departed to Elmwood.  May He who wept at the grave of Lazarus be the consolation of the aged and bereaved husband and his family and may they through Him be united in the mansion beyond.

Perth Courier, Feb. 5, 1897

The Era says:  “On Thursday morning of last week death brought relief to the sufferings of Mrs. Robert Stone, widow of the late Robert Stone of Dalhousie.  Deceased was 72 years of age.  She leaves a family of seven, three sons and four daughters.  Deceased had been ailing for some months and her daughters Mrs. George Manahan of Gilbert P – alns(?) and Mrs. George Buffam of Eganville wee called home a few weeks ago.  The three sons, Messrs. Johnston, Robert and William and two daughters Miss Mary and Miss Lizzie reside on the homestead.  The funeral took place on Satuirday from her late residence to the Lanark Village Cemetery.”

Perth Courier, Feb. 19, 1897

Spence—Died, at Lanark on Friday, Feb. 12, Jane McDougall Spence, beloved wife of Jas. Spence, aged 43(?) 45(?).

Lanark Links:  We regret to record the death of Jane McDougall, wife of James Spence of this village. She had been ill for over nine weeks and during her sickness suffered severely yet showed great patience.  She leaves a husband and five little children to mourn her loss.

Lanark Links:  We have to record the death of another of our citizens, Mrs. John Manahan.  She had been ill for a long time and manifested a Christian patience during her illness.  Being beloved by all who knew her, the funeral on Monday was largely attended.

Perth Courier, April 23, 1897

Those members of the Lanark County Council of 15 years ago will learn with sorrow of the death of a much respected member of that body, Daniel Drummond.  The Gazette of April 16 says:  “The township of Ramsay has lost one of its oldest and most highly respected residents by the death of Daniel Drummond which took place on Friday, at his home in Clayton at the age of 70(?).  Deceased had been ailing with a heart affliction for the past two years and in consequence had not been able during that time either to take an active part in public affairs or paying much attention to his own private business.  The late Mr. Drummond was born in Ramsay in 1826 and removed to Clayton about 30 years ago where he bought a grist mill and saw mill which he continued to work until the time of his death.  Mr. Drummond was a man of strict integrity, upright in all his dealings and of a kind and genial disposition.  He was a man of more than ordinary intellect and this was early recognized by his friends and neighbors in the vicinity and he was for many years the respected and efficient reeve of Ramsay.  In religion he was an active member of the Presbyterian Church as long as his health permitted him to do active work.  In politics he was a Liberal.

Tennant—Died, at Lanark, on Thursday, April 1, Lloyd Tennant, only son of Edward Tennant, aged 15.

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)

relatedreading

The Woman Who Got the Dead End Sign Removed in Carleton Place

Ed Fleming — The First Funeral Parlour in Carleton Place

Funerals With Dignity in Carleton Place – Just a Surrey with a Fringe on Top —- Our Haunted Heritage

Blast From the Past–Remembering Alan Barker– July 4 1979

Dead Ringers –To Live and Die in Morbid Times

The Ashton Funeral to end all Funerals

The Last Man to Let you Down? Political Leanings at Local Funeral Homes?

Embalming 1891 – A Local Report

What was one of the Largest Funerals in Lanark County?

Things You Just Don’t say at a Funeral— Even if you Are a Professional Mourner

A Tale From the Patterson Funeral Home — Carleton Place

 

Death Becomes Her —Proper Mourning

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Death Becomes Her —Proper Mourning

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  02 Dec 1905, Sat,  Page 15

Did you know the material most prized to show grief was lignite, also known as jet, a fossilized form of coal. Jet is deep, dark and somber. In the first phase of mourning, jet jewelry was the only ornamentation women were allowed to wear.

The middle classes in particular, wishing to follow and accept the higher canons of decency of the upper classes, thus they emulated every example she set.  They liked to use black edged stationery, envelopes, notepaper and visiting cards.

 

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Prayer books and bibles had to be bound in Black morocco leather and handkerchiefs edged in black. The list was endless, but all touches were intended to convey to the onlooker through a series of signs and symbols visual messages that the deepest feelings of sadness were felt at the loss. They tied little black or purple ribbons around dressing table bottles and added similar purple or black ribbons even to the clothing of infants.

 

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While women were only supposed to wear jet for the first stage, during the second stage of mourning one could wear a piece of jewellery if it contained, or was made of, hair. That would be human hair. That would be human hair taken from the deceased love one. Brooches, bracelets, rings, chains and buckles were all made of hair; sometimes there was just a bit enclosed in a hollow band or brooch, other times, the hair was crafted into a piece of its own.

 

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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  26 Jan 1901, Sat,  Page 1

A widow was to wear a bonnet of heavy crepe and a veil to cover the face for the first three months. At the end of three months the veil was to be worn from the back of the bonnet for another nine months. Altogether, restrictive mourning dress, known as widow’s weeds, was to be worn for a minimum of two years, although many widows chose to shun colour forever. The duration of wearing these clothes depended on how well the wearer knew the recently departed. A new widow would be expected to mourn her husband (and wear the full attire) for two years, unless the woman was deemed old, in which case she was expected to mourn until her own passing.

 

 

The Ottawa Journal Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Wed, Sep 27, 1916 – Page 10

 

Everybody else was presumed to be easier to lose. Mourning a parent would be expected to take one year, whereas grandparents and siblings would be mourned for six months.With such low-age life expectancy and large families, Victorians were in mourning more often than not throughout their lives. Holding on to your mourning wear was considered bad luck and would bring untimely death to the family, so most would discard their outfits after wearing them.

This meant that once another family member died, more clothing would need to be made and paid for. This often gave the dressmakers – ironically – customers for life.In 1865 Henry Mayhew the social historian remarked that  “Women had to put aside all their ordinary clothes and wear nothing but black, in the appropriate materials and with particular accessories, for the first stages of mourning”. The fashion for heavy mourning was drastically reduced during the Edwardian era and even more so after the Great War.  So many individuals died that just about everyone was in mourning for someone.  By 1918 a whole new attitude had developed and this was hastened even further by the Second World War.

 

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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  03 Apr 1915, Sat,  Page 15

 

Once a member of the house died, all of the mirrors in the house were to be covered. If a mirror in the house fell and broke, it was thought that someone in the home would die soon. When someone died in the house, the clock was to be stopped at the hour of death or bad luck would ensue. When a body was removed from the house, it had to be taken head-first so that it could not beckon others to follow.

 

 

Drawing of a design for a 'safety coffin'

Not really a mourning tradition, but a good sign of the times: Coffin alarms. The fear of being buried alive was so severe that a device known as a coffin alarm was invented. The contraption was simply a bell attached to the headstone with a chain that connected to a ring placed on the finger of the corpse. (Gives the term “dead ringer” a whole new meaning.) There were outbreaks of many diseases at the time that would leave the body in a comatose state. It could take nothing more than a careless physician or an underlying disease to pronounce the sufferer as deceased, and for the funeral preparations to begin almost instantly.

 

Clipped from Manitoba Free Press,  02 Jun 1915, Wed,  Page 9

 

 

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

 

relatedreading

 

The Ashton Funeral to end all Funerals

What was one of the Largest Funerals in Lanark County?

Ed Fleming — The First Funeral Parlour in Carleton Place

The Funeral Train That Went Through Carleton Place — Our Haunted Heritage

Old Wives Tales of Death — Our Haunted Heritage

Funerals With Dignity in Carleton Place – Just a Surrey with a Fringe on Top —- Our Haunted Heritage

Death by Corset? Bring Out Your Dead and Other Notions! Our Haunted Heritage

Things You Just Don’t say at a Funeral— Even if you Are a Professional Mourner

 

 

 

 

 

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Postmortem Photos– Family Economic Sacrifice?

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Postmortem Photos– Family Economic Sacrifice?

 

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In the Victorian era families often took photos of dead loved ones posed to look alive, sometimes next to them and/or standing thanks to the use of support stands and straps. Variants include the painting of eyelids to appear open, hidden mothers holding dead children, the dead made to appear to stand. The post mortem photograph is a relic of a past that has been erased by modernity, and in that lost world, people had more direct and less mediated experiences with body fluids and less mediated (less medicated) experiences of death, with a lot more suffering.”

Photographers often tried to create portraits of the dead and the images to represent who they were alive, not dead, and so tried to make them appear alive. Some, especially children, were made to appear to be sleeping. Others were sat up, sometimes with eyes open. Some feature parents cradling their infant. During most of the Victorian period, photographs were not so prohibitively expensive that most people could only afford them once in a lifetime.

As a specialty item, a postmortem photograph was more expensive than an ordinary portrait. In part, this had to do with the unusual requirements of its making, as the photographer had to come to the subject rather than the other way around. However, this by itself could not have justified the high price of a postmortem picture. Photographers would charge extraordinary fees for a product which was desired with extraordinary fervour by their customers. Whatever the reason for the high fees, the commissioning of a postmortem photograph often involved an economic sacrifice.

The Ashford Zone blog said that you can tell death by blurred eyes and the visibility of a posing stand.  Some still argue against the idea that photographers  did not accomplish this with a small stand, but the exception sometimes proves the rule. The dead were sometimes made to stand and to look alive and conscious. However, this was done by forensic photographers, not memorial portrait makers.

 

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If you look closely you can see a base behind the girls feet in the photo above and a post would go up from that with clamps at the waist and neck and the clothing would be open at the back. The arms would have stiff wires running at the back to hold them in place. Also notice the strange placement of the hands. The pupils are painted on the closed eyelids.

The fact is, postmortem photographs like this were taken more than any other kind of photograph in the Victorian era –and in many cases these carefully arranged, meticulously staged pictures were the only ones ever taken of their subjects.

 

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (US

 

relatedreading

 

Dead Ringers –To Live and Die in Morbid Times

Does Photography Remove Your Soul?

 

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The Ashton Funeral to end all Funerals

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Local news items of the 1880’s and 1890’s, preserved in the late Victorian style of writing of William W. Cliff, first editor of the Canadian, include a record of minor events unlike any told in the personal columns of later day newspapers. An assorted selection of Editor Cliff’s writings has been gathered for second publication, purporting to picture the ordinary life of the town and the times as he saw it— Howard Morton Brown

The Funeral at Ashton

“In speaking of our article last week on delays at funerals, the undertaker enlarged upon it in the following illustration. A number of years ago there was a funeral at Ashton ; one Crozier had died. The day was of piercing strength noted at the Wilkie funeral ; the house small ; the attendance large ; the hour 11 a.m. The Minister who officiated considerately remarked that as the weather was so cold and the crowd outside so large he would say but a few words. His sermon lasted one solid hour.

A brother Minister who was present arose and, after expressing deep sympathy for the shivering masses without and guaranteeing but a few words, spun a sermon two and a half hours in length! During his delivery one by one the outside public left and sought the genial hostelry nearby. All got drunk and were soon in a glorious fight, and at 3 o’clock none were left to escort the remains to the grave save the mourners and pall bearers.”

Did Anyone Ever Have Fun in Ashton? Ashton 101

Did Anyone Have Fun in Ashton? Part 2- The Fleming House

Haunted Heritage Cupcakes by Shannon Michie-mcdonald Tonight at the Museum!

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What goes along with our Haunted Heritage Event tonight at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Museum? CUPCAKES by  Carleton Place’s very own Shannon Michie-mcdonald

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The first ones are “B52 Boo!” A chocolate base cupcake with hints of baileys, kaluha and ammeretto , with a coffee cream cheese frosting.
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The second is a Candy Corange Cream Dream. It is a French vanilla cake with orange lemon icing.
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The third is Nutty Nightmare and that is a chocolate cupcake with grizzly grey peanut butter frosting and a fondant full moon. It is embellished with a dark cherry chocolate full moon or quarter moon.
 AND...
 We have also added  speaker Emma Drummond  (yes Lorna Drummond’s very own Granddaughter) who is in her last year of Humber College and interning at Cole Funeral Services and will have some interesting things to say.

Speakers are: Linda Seccaspina, author of The Tales of Carleton Place and Tilting the Kilt- Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place. Also Jennifer Fenwick Irwin curator of the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum will have a brief duscussion about the display of yesterday’s rites and traditions that will be only available to view that night.

Honourary Greeter Guest will be: Town of Carleton Place Councillor Sean Redmond. 

Guest speakers will be: 

Steven Robert Morrison

Well known Tarot, Palmistry and Facereader from Ottawa will discuss all sorts of interesting traditions and symbolism of funerals etc. 

Steven, has been active in the spiritual and the metapsychic fields of study for the most part of his life. Following a path and exploring the varied ideas and philosophies of many faiths. Always outspoken and with both the ability to say “what needs to be said” while all the time remaining diplomatic, honest and understanding.Steven, has proven he as the ability to see things that seem to lie just beyond that of the ordinary and the everyday.With more than a decade of doing this as a source of fulfillment and as a joy, and with more that 35,000 individual readings– we know what he has to say about the rites of the departed will be of great interest.

Ed Fleming — The First Funeral Parlour in Carleton Place

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Ed Fleming was more than a qualified mortician, and he thought all it would take to open a funeral parlour in Carleton Place was a hop, skip, and maybe a coffin or two. How hard could it be he asked himself? The man from Ashton knew just about everyone in town, and had a few degrees under his belt from Ottawa and Hamilton.  But in typical small town fashion some things never change. Word flew up and down the streets that a funeral parlour might dare open. The horrors! The general synopsis was: what did Carleton Place need a funeral parlour for?

Next thing he knew, a group of concerned citizens began a petition to stop the young mans dreams of opening his business in town. However, the powers to be finally gave Fleming the green light. In all honesty, there just wasn’t enough people complaining to warrant not allowing him to open his business. In June of 1939 Carleton Place’s first funeral parlour opened and the world didn’t end. At least there wasn’t anything in the newspapers about it, and the world was here when I woke up this morning.

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You have to remember there were other undertakers in town like Patterson and Matthews, and everyone had family funerals in their homes in those days. Back in the days when funerals were held at home, the only outside help which a family needed was in supplying the coffin. Since it was made of wood, it was bought at the store that also sold wooden furniture. Some people even built their own coffins, if they had the time and talent. When the family home was not acceptable, Matthews Furniture store just moved everything over and ushered everyone into an open space between the couches and the end tables.

As funerals became more elaborate, the people who ran the furniture stores branched out, to supply a hearse or the other accouterments of Victorian mourning. Fleming had a horse drawn carriage until he purchased his first vehicle. Although undertakers’ records from the last century do exist, they are rare. We begin to hear more about them in the years before World War I, and by the 1920s they became common

Eventually the modern funeral home as we know it evolved and known as a mortuary or an undertaker’s, names which modern practitioners don’t like. Ed Fleming knew all along he could do a better job than the undertakers in town and he and his wife Doris succeeded with their first funeral parlour in their home on Frank Street.

I can’t imagine how his wife Doris got the family meals prepared knowing full well the body preparation room was next to the kitchen. That year they only had three funerals, and Doris pinch hit as a nurse at the Carleton Place Hospital to make ends meet,  But, as his good reputation spread, people knew they could count on him, and his business began to flourish.

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Fleming Brothers’ Funeral Home eventually moved to 18 Lake Avenue West where Tubman’s once was. Everything that has a beginning eventually has a an end. When Fleming decided to retire, he struck a deal with John Kerry who operated in Almonte at the old Stafford house and they closed the Carleton Place deal in 1972. Today, the Tubman Funeral home on lake Ave. West is closed, and the only remaining funeral parlour is the Alan Barker funeral home on McArthur Street.

Don’t forget Haunted Heritage Thursday night at the museum!

Our Haunted Heritage Event Page- buy tickets soon! October 15th

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St James Cemtery Ghost Walk Event Page- October 28th

Howls in the Night in Carleton Place — Our Haunted Heritage

The Devil You Say in Carleton Place? Our Haunted Heritage

Outside Looking in at The Eccentric Family of Henry Stafford — Our Haunted Heritage

The Funeral Train That Went Through Carleton Place — Our Haunted Heritage

Stairway to Heaven in a Cemetery? Our Haunted Heritage

Old Wives Tales of Death — Our Haunted Heritage

Funerals With Dignity in Carleton Place – Just a Surrey with a Fringe on Top —- Our Haunted Heritage

Death by Corset? Bring Out Your Dead and Other Notions! Our Haunted Heritage

Things You Just Don’t say at a Funeral— Even if you Are a Professional Mourner

The Non Kosher Grave — Our Haunted Heritage

Linda’s Dreadful Dark Tales – When Irish Eyes Aren’t Smiling — Our Haunted Heritage

 Could the Giant Pike of Carleton Place Have Turned Into the Lake Memphremagog Monster?

Carleton Place Was Once Featured in Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Our Haunted Heritage

Young Hearts Run Free — Warning– Story Could be Upsetting to Some

Twitching or Grave Dousing– Our Haunted Heritage

HAUNTED HERITAGE NIGHT at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

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Thursday is almost upon us and it is time for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage’s 3rd annual Haunted Heritage Evening! This year we invite guests to attend our mock funeral and learn about death, burial and mourning rituals of the past. Tickets are $10 each and available at the Museum.Seats are limited so get your ticket soon!

Speakers are: Linda Seccaspina, author of The Tales of Carleton Place and Tilting the Kilt- Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place. Also Jennifer Fenwick Irwin curator of the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum will have a brief duscussion about the display of yesterday’s rites and traditions that will be only available to view that night.

Honourary Greeter Guest will be: Town of Carleton Place Councillor Sean Redmond. 

Guest speakers will be: 

Steven Robert Morrison

Well known Tarot, Palmistry and Facereader from Ottawa will discuss all sorts of interesting traditions and symbolism of funerals etc. 

Steven, has been active in the spiritual and the metapsychic fields of study for the most part of his life. Following a path and exploring the varied ideas and philosophies of many faiths. Always outspoken and with both the ability to say “what needs to be said” while all the time remaining diplomatic, honest and understanding.Steven, has proven he as the ability to see things that seem to lie just beyond that of the ordinary and the everyday.With more than a decade of doing this as a source of fulfillment and as a joy, and with more that 35,000 individual readings– we know what he has to say about the rites of the departed will be of great interest.

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Then hear and see actual items from the much talked about Margaret Violet King drowning years ago.

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Also the piano stylings of Linda Beglee who plays piano at the Alan Barker Funeral Home and the fabulous cupcakes made by Shannon Michie-mcdonald.

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See you Thursday night at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Email Us: cpbheritagemuseum@bellnet.ca
Call us at (613)253-7013
267 Edmund Street, Carleton Place ON
K7C 3E8—
DON’T FORGET OUR CEMETERY WALK ON THE 28TH..
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