(Click on any of the below thumbnails to view a slideshow of larger images)
This mid-1800s horse-drawn funeral hearse served the parish of Ste. Anne-du-Ruisseau, Yarmouth County, for many years. It is not known exactly when it was in use because the original Ste. Anne Church, built in 1808, and its records were destroyed by fire in 1900. Del Surette of Eel Brook, Yarmouth County, became the owner of this Victorian hearse in 1969, when he purchased the store in which it was housed in Eel Brook. Mr. Surette found an undercarriage to fit the hearse and had it restored by Mr. Élie Pothier of Eel Brook, which took over a year.
The hearse was part of Ste. Anne-du-Ruisseau’s Acadian festival parade in the early 1970s. Starting in 1990, Mr. Surette displayed the hearse on his property every summer and stored it under cover during the winter months. It is in remarkably good condition with original tasseled draperies.
In August 2008, Mr. Surette donated the hearse to the museum, and it now sits in the Transportation Section of the Education Wing.
Reference: The first two pictures above show archivist Jamie Serran and summer student Jennie d'Entremont helping to move the hearse into the Transportation Section. Both photos by Bruce Bishop.