The Origin Of The Hearse

The hearse, some find it creepy, some find it cool and some don’t think much about them….until they are in one. The funeral hearse was originally a wooden or meta framework which stood over the coffin. It came with numerous spikes to support burning candles and these spikes resembled a harrow which led to the name “herse” which means harrow in latin.

The first hearses were moved by hand and then later horse drawn. Electric hearses were introduced in the early 1900’s and then gas powered versions began appearing. Most hearses were on car chassis with custom bodywork in the back to carry the coffin.

American Hearses

There are two basic styles of hearses. The first has opaque rear windows,  basically concealing the coffin. Another has large windows and narrow pillars, revealing and displaying the coffin.

Because hearses have limited duty with short driving distances, many hearses live very long service lives. It is not uncommon to find hearses with service duties of over 20 years or more.

Non Commercial Hearse Usage

Because of the morbid nature of the hearse, many people have taken on driving and maintaining hearses as a hobby. They are a unique vehicle that people use to express themselves.

This website is dedicated in fact to those people who love the hearse and want to share their passion for this slightly odd form of transportation. The macabre is alive and well in the United States

Tribute Post

Tribute to the original website, courtesyy of Archive.ORG:

We are a car club, but not just your ordinary car club. We are all private owners of one of the most thought provoking vehicles around….. funeral coaches, otherwise known as hearses. Our members come from all walks of life, male and female, young and old. What we share is a common appreciation for these vehicles, and the camaraderie that comes with owning such a unique vehicle. 

Even though we are located in Wayne County, Michigan, USA, we try to have a variety of events all over, so that the majority of our members can attend events, without taking out a second mortgage to pay for gas money!

In the summer months, we cruise. You’ll find us at all the major car cruises in Southeast Michigan. If you see us there, stop by and say hello. We won’t bite to (much). During the Halloween season, you find us hanging out at haunted attractions all over town, where we actually become part of the attraction.

In the winter months, we still get together for Scary Movie Nights, Glow Ghoul Bowling, and behind the scenes tours of mortuaries and cemeteries.You can always see what we are up to next by checking our Calendar of Events.

 

We have also teamed up with other hearse clubs, local businesses and civic groups to organize joint events and community service activities, such as cemetery clean up days, and benefits for local food banks.