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Death and Mourning in the Gilded Age
Tours: Friday and Saturday
October 13 & 14 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
(The 7:00 p.m. and 9 p.m. shows for Friday, October 13 and Saturday, October 14 is sold out.)
October 20 & 21 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. – Tickets are still available
October 27 & 28 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. – Tickets are still available
– Space is Limited
$15.00 Adults / $10.00 Students & Seniors / $5.00 Children 12 – 17
Special Lantern-Lit Tours
Explore the Phelps Mansion Museum after dusk, and discover the Gilded Age’s attitude towards death & mourning during a special lantern-lit tour. Through each room, participants will learn about superstitions, funeral customs, and post-mortem photography at 191 Court Street in Binghamton.
Mark Twain once referred to death as “the impartial friend… the immortal who treats us all alike.” For those in the late 19thcentury, this impartial friend tended to visit with staggering frequency. This caused people to develop its fair share of the macabre such as photographs of the dead, hair wreaths, stories (e.g. Shadows from the Walls of Death), and did three knocks at the door really signal death to come?
There were certain rules and regulations for mourning that developed during this culture of death. People in mourning could not attend societal functions, and were usually isolated. Widows wore black dresses and garments for up to two years after the loss of a husband. Wreaths woven from hair of the deceased memorialized loved ones, and were often displayed in the parlor for visitors to admire. Furthermore, these hair wreaths were a way of documenting family members like a family tree.
Learn about superstitions and funeral customs by joining us on this fateful night.
ADMISSION: The regular exhibit is part of the tour price.