HEBRON — The Victorian way of practicing and celebrating death and burial was the focus of a presentation titled “Grave Matters” at a recent Hebron Historical Society meeting.

Androscoggin Historical Society director Beverly Robbins, dressed in period mourning costume, briefed the attendees with a presentation of photos.

She explained how Queen Victoria’s grandiose mourning ceremony honoring her husband’s death in 1861 set the stage for what became the general rules for proper dress and practices for honoring the deceased. Americans soon after mirrored her image and practices.

Women were to wear black for one year and a day, and widows were not to leave home without full mourning attire. She explained the process of caring for the deceased prior to embalming and how photographs of the dead were modified to appear as living.

Many deceased Civil War officers underwent new embalming procedures to delay their immediate burial.

The next Society meeting will feature Larry Glatz speaking on the Maine Historical Atlas at 7 p.m. on April 28 at the Hebron Town office, 351 Paris Road. The public is invited.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.