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A House in Mourning


At the time the Nobles lived in Fish Creek, death generally occurred in the home and that was where the funeral would be held as well. To signify a death in the family, the outer door was hung with a badge of black crepe, windows were darkened and clocks were stopped at the hour of death. 

A House in Mourning is the theme for a special exhibit of of Victorian-era funeral items including an antique pine coffin, a cooling table, antique embalming fluid, a hair wreath and funeral plaques. In addition, many artifacts depicting Victorian mourning etiquette such as white mourning handkerchiefs etched in black lace, mourning attire and horse plumes from a carriage hearse, are displayed throughout the house. 

The Victorian-era funeral was surrounded with custom and ritual and much of it was dictated by the rules of etiquette, commonly accepted by society of the day. In fact, "to mourn" in the 19th Century meant not only to feel grief but to follow the prescribed etiquette which surrounded death and bereavement.