Retired funeral director Steven Person, now a docent at Black Point Estate, dressed in period costume will present “Death and Dying in the Victorian Era” at the estate the first two weekends in October. (Submitted photo)

Black Point Estate will present “Angels Carried Them Away: Death and Mourning in the Victorian Era” on Oct. 5, 6, 12 and 13.

The program runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. beginning with a cruise to the estate that departs from the Riviera Dock, 812 Wrigley Drive. Cost is $44 per person.

Victorians embraced death as a cause for elaborate ritual. During the era from 1876 to 1915, the ritual of death became increasingly sophisticated and public. Parlor funerals, post-mortem death photographs, Victorian hair wreaths, public mourning and séances all became accepted practices. In addition, the period saw the development of the modern cemetery, mortician and public funeral complete with floral arrangements and hearse transportation for the deceased.

“Death and Dying in the Victorian Era” will be presented at Black Point Estate, a Queen Anne Victorian summer cottage built in 1888 on Geneva Lake. The program will feature a presentation on Victorian funeral and mourning customs and a self-guided first-floor house tour. It will be presented by Black Point docent Steven Person, who is a retired funeral director.

The program was created in 2013 under the direction of the Wisconsin Historical Society to explain some of the elaborate mourning and funeral rituals typical of the Victorian era.

“This program continues to sell out every time we offer it, in part because Steve Person is an excellent storyteller,” said Estate Director David Desimone. “While this program is building upon the rise in popularity surrounding Halloween, we will remain true to our mission of sharing historically accurate stories so you won’t hear any ghost tales at this one.”

Tickets for the program and narrated boat tour can be purchased through the Geneva Lake Cruise Line by calling 262-248-6206. The program is limited to 34 people per date.


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