Black draping signals to all who pass by that this stately stone house, Hearthside, is in mourning. The occasion is the farewell to former homeowner, Simon E. Thornton, who died in 1873. The Friends of Hearthside invite you to come explore Victorian American mourning and funerary traditions and practices in this re-creation of Mr. Thornton's wake.
Both the guides and the house are attired in black. The mirrors are covered and the sweet smell of flowers pervade the waking room. The undertaker has come to prepare the body for its final resting place. A photographer has been hired to capture one last image of the deceased. Special stationery and memorials have been created to notify friends and relatives and to memorialize the family's loved one.
On display during this special exhibit are antique embalming tools and the table that Mr. Thornton's body was likely prepared on, a Victorian coffin, mourning fashions and accessories, post-mortem photographs, and other funerary artifacts. Guides lead the way through three floors of this historic home as the rituals of death and mourning in the late 19th century are presented.
Exhibit opens on Sun. Oct. 14th from 3-6 p.m. Admission is $8.
On Sat. Oct. 20th, a special candlelight tour is offered at 6:30, 7:30 or 8:30 p.m. Space is limited so reservations are advised by calling 401-726-0597. Admission for the candlelight tour is $10.
Additional openings on Oct. 21, 27 and 28 from 1 - 4 p.m. Admission for afternoon tours is $8.