The history books will come alive at Ogeechee Technical College (OTC) thanks to Batesville Casket Company’s authentic replica of Abraham Lincoln’s coffin. Many within the funeral service profession have put the coffin on display for the public to see, often at funeral homes, but OTC’s Funeral Service Education (FSE) program will use the display to help teach students about funeral service history. The Lincoln replica is often requested by funeral directors celebrating new funeral home openings and anniversaries, and by historical museums and Lincoln enthusiasts commemorating Lincoln’s birth and death. Ogeechee Tech wants to offer an opportunity for the local public to see the replica casket as well, according to Jack Norvell, OTC FSE instructor. The casket, along with other historical funeral service memorabilia, will be available for public viewing in the College’s Occupational Studies Building Conference Center starting Tuesday, November 1 through Thursday, November 3. The hours the display will be open are from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. each day.
Authentic down to the smallest details (except for being lined with lead and the silver plate), Batesville’s replica is 6’ 6” long, made of solid walnut and completely covered in black broadcloth with a white satin interior. The outside is adorned with silver colored handles and silver tacks, or pearls, extending the entire length of the coffin’s sides. Lincoln’s original casket included a silver plate in the center of the lid inscribed with Lincoln’s date of birth and death. This plate is not included on the replica.
“We hope history buffs and anyone interested in this unique glimpse into the death of a U.S. president will take advantage of the opportunity to visit campus to see this exhibit,” said Michele Rupar, OTC FSE program director. There is no charge for entry into the display.