Tag Archives: youngs funeral parlour

The Cross on Top of the Hearse

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The Cross on Top of the Hearse

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Middleville Museum

 

In rural areas people do pull over in towns located in predominantly rural areas. But in major cities you will seldom find it happening.

I always cross myself when a hearse passes. Doing so provides an opportunity to pray for the departed and those grieving. It’s also a healthy reminder of our own mortality and that our death could occur at any minute.

Alice Borrowman from the Middleville Museum told me that when it was carrying a Catholic, a cross was placed atop the hearse. When a Protestant was inside, the cross  in some places was removed or as in Young’s hearse it was folded down.

In our area it was definitely a community funeral and they paid a great deal of attention to death and funerals. Many people attended funerals, and would think it strange for a town’s resident not to pay respect to an upstanding citizen by attending a funeral. The funeral process began immediately after a death had occurred, when female neighbours or local midwives gathered at the home of the deceased to lay out the body. The corpse was typically laid on a bed or a flat surface, such as boards or a door, suspended between supports and covered with a white sheet. In some homes this would be in the front room, in others the bedroom or the kitchen. First the body was washed and then, using simple materials readily at hand, the mouth was closed by tying a handkerchief under the chin and coins or pebbles were used to close the eyes.

While the body was being prepared by the women, a six-sided coffin was being constructed by a local carpenter or lumber mill. It was a full day’s work and might be done without charge since the maker saw it as his contribution to the community. The body was kept in the home from one to three days, although hot weather or a very obese corpse might require speedy burial. In winter, the stove was allowed to go out to keep the house cool. If ice was available, a bathtub full was placed under the body, or ice was packed around the abdomen to slow decomposition and minimize odour.

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relatedreading

How Heavenly Funeral Potatoes Got Their Name

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