The owner of a Springfield funeral home is in charge of getting the hearse for this year’s re-creation of President Lincoln’s funeral. The actual hearse was built in 1857 and cost $6,000, which was huge back then, and it was destroyed in a fire in 1887. Funeral home owner P.J. Staab, leading the hearse effort for the funeral committee, says they couldn’t find anything like it.
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“Basically, there isn’t a hearse that we could find anywhere that resembles the ones that were built in the 1850s. Obviously they’re not here, they’re not road-worthy, and we had to have something that was safe,” he said. So they have one being built, based on one photograph and one relic, a medallion from the side of the hearse. The hearse is being built in California by the Arizona-based Tombstone Hearse and Trike Co., and will be in Springfield in time for the re-creation planned for May 1-3, the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s funeral.