In 1885, renowned carriage-maker George L. Brownell of New Bedford, Conn. was hired to produce a custom fleet of horse-drawn hearses for the villages of Barnstable. Seven were made, but only one remains – and when it’s not touring museums, it’s kept at the historic Hearse House in Marstons Mills Cemetery.
The carriage has been restored to its original glory, each feature capturing the pinnacle of luxury and technology for its time: iron wheels, glass paneling and curved rear doors, tasseled side curtains, brass dowels to secure a casket inside, even a compartment for ice in the undercarriage to help with preservation of the bodies once carried inside.
When Chapman Funerals & Cremations first opened in 1862, we used the same sort of carriage to convey the dead to their final place of rest. Mourners would follow on horseback and on foot, forming a solemn funeral procession.
These days, the processions are automobiles, and the hearses have horsepower rather than actual horses. But the Marstons Mills hearse remains as a symbol of the love and care people have always had for the dead.
Modern Funerals in Marstons Mills
The Marstons Mills Cemetery, established in 1775, is the final resting place of many of the village’s founders and early settlers. It stands now as an important monument to our Cape Cod history, and it’s been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1987. More than that, though, it remains an active cemetery and final resting place for many members of our community.
The Town of Barnstable maintains several other active cemeteries as well:
- Beechwood Cemetery in Centreville
- Crocker Park Cemetery in West Barnstable
- Cummaquid Cemetery in Barnstable Village
- Lothrop Hill Cemetery in Barnstable
- Mosswood Cemetery in Cotuit
- Oak Neck Cemetery in Hyannis
- Hillside Cemetery in Osterville
If you’re looking to secure a family lot in advance or need to find the right resting place for a recently departed loved one, you can reach out to the Town of Barnstable for more information. Or, your funeral director can reach out on your behalf to handle these and other arrangements for you, saving you the stress in your time of need.
Both burial and cremation lots are available at these cemeteries. If you are planning a cremation, there are also many beautiful places to scatter ashes in Marstons Mills, including many secluded and scenic ponds, lakes, marshes, and bogs. Before scattering near any freshwater source, be sure to check with the property owner or reach out to the State or National Park Authority for permission. They may have some specific guidelines in place for protecting our Cape Cod waterways.
Our Marstons Mills Funeral Home Location
Our Marstons Mills location first opened in 1983 as the John-Lawrence Funeral home, with the purpose of bringing together service, affordability, and an outstanding commitment to the community. It became part of the Chapman Funerals family in 2012, joining our 150+ year legacy serving Massachusetts families.
We are proud of our history and humbled to continue serving this vibrant and close-knit community with the same commitment and passion we’ve always had. Whether you are preplanning your funeral arrangements in advance or need help laying a loved one to rest, we are here for you. Call us at (508) 428-5704 or stop by to visit us at 3778 Falmouth Road (Route 28).