This mid-1800s horse-drawn funeral hearse was employed in the parish of Ste. Anne du Ruisseau, Yarmouth County, for many years. When it was first or last put into use is not known because the original Ste. Anne Church, built in 1808, and its records, were destroyed by fire in 1900. Del Surette of Eel Brook, Yarmouth County, became the owner of this Victorian hearse in 1969, when he purchased the store in Eel Brook it was housed in. As it didn't have an undercarriage and was in disrepair, Mr. Surette found an undercarriage to fit, and had restoration/repair work done by Mr. Élie Pothier of Eel Brook, which took over a year to accomplish.
The hearse was part of Ste. Anne du Ruisseau’s Acadien Festival parade in the early 1970s. Starting in 1990, Mr. Surette displayed the hearse on his property every summer, and stored it under cover during the winter months. It is in remarkably good shape with original tasseled draperies.
In August 2008, Mr. Surette donated the hearse to the museum, and it now sits in the Transportation Section of the Education Wing.
Reference: The first two pictures above show archivist Jamie Serran and summer student Jennie d'Entremont helping to move the hearse into the Transportation Section. Both photos by Bruce Bishop.