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Chatham, Virginia: Simpson Funeral Museum

Opened by Bill Simpson in an old undertaker parlor on July 18, 2014. Bill runs a handmade casket company, and the museum features replicas of the caskets of JFK, Ronald Reagan, Marilyn Monroe, and Elvis. Also old hearses, and a fumigator designed to disinfect the homes of people who died of infectious diseases. Didn't work.

16 S. Main St., Chatham, VA
Downtown. On S. Main St./US Hwy 29 BUS at its intersection with Chatham Hall Circle, next to Pinos Pizza.
W-F 10-2, Sa 9-noon (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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Rare Fisk caskets.

Simpson Funeral Museum

The Simpson Funeral Museum is a must-see if you are anywhere in the area. I spent over an hour with the very passionate curator, Scott Simpson, discussing the history of modern funeral services along with caskets and hearses. The explanation of caskets vs. coffins and the selection for viewing at the museum was enlightening. The displays include an 800-lb. forever casket, a National Seamless, the kind Elvis was buried in; rare Fisk caskets; and a 1941 Packard hearse.

Could have stayed for hours more; it was that entertaining!

[Jody High, 02/03/2020]
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Roadside Presidents App for iPhone. Find this attraction and more: museums, birthplaces, graves of the Chief Execs, first ladies, pets, assassins and wannabes. Prez bios and oddball trivia. Available on the App Store.

Nearby Offbeat Places

Last Capitol of the ConfederacyLast Capitol of the Confederacy, Danville, VA - 17 mi.
Big RoosterBig Rooster, Moneta, VA - 27 mi.
21-Foot-High Mission Chair21-Foot-High Mission Chair, Martinsville, VA - 28 mi.
In the region:
Big Full-Color Statue of Stonewall Jackson, Lexington, VA - 68 mi.

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