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By Connor Ashlock
The Jersey County Historical Society will be offering one more opportunity to see its Dearly Departed exhibit this Saturday, Nov. 6, at the Cheney mansion, located at 601 North State Street in Jerseyville.
Those interested in touring the exhibit will need to call Shirley Scott at 618-946-4240 to reserve a space. Tours start on the hour beginning at 10 a.m., with the last one starting at 4 p.m.
The tour consists of artifacts both from the society’s collection as well as the Gubser Family Collection and are all original to Jersey County.
The Gubser family lovingly preserved this important and unique aspect of local and regional heritage through the years and previously used it to interpret the history of the funeral service profession.
Visitors are escorted through the ground floor of the mansion and explore customs related to mourning and the bereavement period as they would have been practiced in the area in the late Victorian age, interpreted through the lens of the Cheney family as they mourned the passing of Prentiss Dana Cheney I in 1900.
Such customs as draping black over mirrors, photos and windows are exhibited and explored, as well as why clocks were stopped at the time of death, why people dressed a certain way and the popularity of death photography and hair art.
This Saturday will be the last opportunity to come view the exhibit.
Tours are $10 per person and can be paid for by either cash or check at the door. Parking is provided behind the mansion and visitors may enter from the back door, located in the garden.
Following this Saturday’s showing of the Dearly Departed exhibit, the Jersey County Historical Society will begin its preparations for the Christmas season.
The halls of the Cheney mansion will be decked with holly and a myriad of other holiday decorations, providing residents and visitors alike with the chance to come see the home in all its yuletide splendor, imbibing history and the holiday season all in one place.
The society’s details regarding its Christmas showings are forthcoming but will be in step with community-wide celebrations of the season this year.
Those interested in keeping up to date with the society are encouraged to follow them on their society media platforms. On Facebook, the institution is listed as the Jersey County Historical Society. On Instagram, you’ll find them at Jersey County History.