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This Is How People Died In Kalamazoo In The 19th Century

Coffin at a funeral service in a cemetery
Getty Images/iStockphoto

To people of the 19th century, death was something that was thought of on a constant basis. It was just as much part of life as living was. It was thought of back then as a major part of life, which was partially the reason so many Momento Mori pictures were taken. But how did people in Kalamazoo mourn the loss of their loved ones? It turns out there were many traditions, especially here in Kalamazoo.

In a video posted by the Kalamazoo Public Library from 1987, they talk about the traditions and customs of the time. In the beginning of the video, Tom Selleck look-alike¬†Larry Massie tours the Mountain Home Cemetery and describes early burial customs. Later, Lynn Houghton and Annette Conti talk about funeral and mourning customs in early Kalamazoo.¬†The films originally appeared as historical segments in the program “Images and Ideas,” and were produced through the facilities of the Community Access Center.

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