Thursday, August 16, 2012

Awesome Find ~ A Child's Casket!

Awesome Find ~ A Child's Casket!
Oh boy do I have a great new project! Hubby was visiting our Kansas property to take a look around (we have a habit of buying property sight-unseen - this is our 3rd). Anyway, the property is 3.58 acres in-the-middle-of-nowhere northwest Kansas. The buildings on it are an old one room brick schoolhouse and an old brick Lutheran church. There's more about it all in a previous post.

Well, hubby called me once he was up and exploring. We were pleasantly surprised that we had perfect cell phone service out there! He went through the schoolhouse first and then the church. In the choir loft of the church, in the dark (as there's no electricity on yet), he found a child's casket. It was all covered in dust & dirt, and the outer fabric cover was coming off. LOL Your typical so-not-what-you-want-to-see-when-exploring-dark-empty-creepy places! He learily opened the casket lid and saw that the interior, while thankfully empty, was still in perfect, pristine condition! Woohoo!

I told him that he had to bring that back to me! I had to see it - and make it pretty again!

So here are the pictures of it (the last picture has the best surprise of all!):

While still in the choir loft.

The casket front.

The casket left side.

The casket back.

The casket right side. No, that's not a split in the wood, it's actually sawn that way, but not all the way through. Not sure why, but I'm going to find out!

The casket top. As you can see, there is water damage and warping on the right end. It is also split about a third of the way down the top. Not sure how to repair that, but I'm going to do some research to find out if it's possible. Or pay someone who knows how!

The casket interior. Isn't it beautiful! It's in perfect condition! Some child would've looked so beautiful and peaceful wrapped in such soft, fluffy, silken beauty.

The casket pillow. This is so sweet! It's not some flat, cheap thing either. This pillow is about 4" thick and beautifully tufted in the center.

The casket handle. Beautifully ornate and nickel plated! It was this shiny already, I did not "shine" it up for the pictures.

The manufacturer's postcard was inside. Notice the stamp in the corner? One cent! LOL Awesome!

This is the back of the manufacturer's card and it includes all of the information about the casket: the customer's name (who turned out to be a local business owner and banker), the town (Hoxie, KS), the casket number (14), and other pertinent information. But the most awesome bit of information is the date. October 2, 1933.
October 2nd is my birthday!

Seriously, what are the odds of that!???! 

I mean, finding our dream property that has both a church and a school on it. Then finding a casket in the church, which is odd enough already. But finding that casket with it's manufacturer's card and that card having that date on it! Granted, it's 27 yrs older than me, but out of 365 days in a year and all the years that company made caskets (50+) and all the years that this church was there (1930's - 1980 - close to 50 yrs!), and all the years the church sat empty (32 yrs) this casket was there, waiting for us to find it - for me!!

How totally, unbelievably awesome is that!!!!?????!!!!! I'm so excited I can't stand it! LOL can you tell?

So now the fun begins of restoring the wood - or re-covering it, I haven't decided yet. There is alot of glue on the wood that will take quite a bit of work to remove. Plus, I have to be very careful not to stain or damage the interior fabric. I'd never be able to get that back in place! So I have to very carefully work around it.

Once completed I'm going to use it as a coffee table or side table under a window or something.  I know, I'm sick! In fact, when hubby found the casket, his first thought (after seeing, thankfully, that it was empty!) was that his "creepy wife will love this!" Oh, he is sooo right! LOL Does my honey know me or what?! Luv u too, my great big hunk o' man! 

So, the project begins. I'll be sure to post updates as I progress with the project, so keep an eye out for them!

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