S.Y. Wilson’s Coffin

My latest post on the Pink Palace blog about that time we drove to Arlington to get a coffin.

The Pink Palace Family of Museums

One of the Pink Palace’s newest acquisitions is a mid-twentieth century coffin that was donated by Susan Wilson Hoggard of S.Y. Wilson store in Arlington, Tennessee. S.Y. Wilson opened in 1893 as a general country store that sold provisions in eastern Shelby County. Samuel Young Wilson erected the store’s current building in 1912 in Arlington’s town square. Today, the family operates an antiques and artisan market in the three story building. When it was a country store, one of the more unusual offerings was coffins. State law allowed individual burials, and, especially in the country, family plots were not unusual. We can only assume that when these types of burials fell out of favor, Wilson’s store had a few coffins, in their original crates, remaining in the attic.

Susan Wilson Hoggard with the coffin crate

In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, country stores sold clothing, farming equipment, food and other sundry items. Store owners or clerks…

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Published by Caroline Mitchell Carrico

I am a writer, mom, and museum enthusiast in Memphis. Also a fan of reading all the words, cooking all the vegetables, and watching all my kids' soccer games.

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