The horse-drawn hearse was formerly kept in the "hearse house," a room added for that purpose onto the back of the Congregational Church on Great Cranberry Island. That room has two wide doors facing the parsonage that swing open to form an opening 8 feet, 1½ inches wide. The room acted like a garage for the hearse.
The hearse would be wheeled out and used to carry the body from the memorial service at the church to its final resting place in the cemetery.
Nowadays the hearse is no longer in the hearse house. That room is used to sell baked goods during the annual Ladies Aid Fair, and is used as storage during the rest of the year.
The hearse has long been standing derelict in the backyard of the Schmidt home on the Lane. It has been stripped of its carriage and wheels, although the driver's seat remains. It is left outside in the elements to fall into complete disrepair. Traces of fine fabric lining hang in shreds from the ceiling.
|click to enlarge|