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Victoriana Day: Experience a Victorian Era Funeral

Victoriana Day Experience a Victorian Era Funeral Saturday, April 27, 2:00 PM - 5:30 PM This delightful Victoriana Day started with a lecture and PowerPoint presentation which lasted almost an hour.

Gavriel Maman of Go Antiques of Forest Hills at 116-09 Queens Blvd. assisted and gave a wonderful lecture about the Victorian Age. The lecture covered many aspects of Victorian customs regarding funerals and the burial practices. A fascinating glimpse into the mourning attire, jewelry, superstitions, etc.

Than we ventured out into beautiful weather for our Walking Tour to the Victorian section of Maple Grove Cemetery and walked all the way to the old Administration Building and visited many sites and friends along the way. We made note of many old Victorian symbols in many of the monuments and saw the 1875 Receiving Tomb which struck many people as fascinating and how cool the temperature was inside!

We visited with Sam Loyd, Ruth Wheeler, Dr. Gerson, Rosina Lhevinne, George Wright, Colonel Duff Reed, the Mohammedan Society, the African American monument, Elisabeth Riis, Julia the dog, Emma Brown, and many others.

We returned to the Center to a splendid display of wonderful and delicious foods. Traditional foods of the Victorian Funeral Tea including raisin pie, prune cake, and muffins. Helen Day, Bonnie Dixon, and Andrea Crawford did all of the baking. Everyone partook and were satisfied! And in between we had a wonderful exhibit of antique jewelry and artifacts by Gavriel Maman of Go Antiques. We also had singing led by Mariel Pacific who also played the piano.

It was wonderful to have people sing along to such beautiful songs and hymns. Denny Daniel from The Museum of Interesting Things was also able to make a wonderful demonstration of his devices of long ago including the rare opportunity to hear a late 1800's recording of our own George Washington Johnson's Whistling Song on a miniature Victrola!

It ended with one last song, Taps. First we learned the words and sang the words and then Henry Vas Nunes played it on the trumpet on the patio facing the cemetery and Bonnie had the 1875 Maple Grove bell chime the end of a perfect day.

It was a wonderful event and a remarkable day!

Friends of Maple Grove Chairman Carl Ballenas explained, "Victoriana Day started with a small idea planted in my head, months ago, and to watch it grow and become this wonderful event was incredible!"

"What a delight to bring so many wonderful people together, who enjoyed a truly spectacular day! So many wonderful comments have been coming in. I am thrilled that we saw many new faces and added many new people to our Friends of Maple Grove Family!"

Until next year! Thank you to all!

Photos: (Top) Guests gather to enjoy Victoriana Day; (Middle) Actors and participants dressed in Victorian era funeral attire; (Bottom) Scrumptious baked goods for the occasion. Photos by C. Ballenas

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