March 9, 2009

Ill. funeral museum facing possible demise

The Museum of Funeral Customs in Springfield, Ill., may soon face its own passing because to a lack of visitors, an official says.

Duane Marsh, Illinois Funeral Directors Association executive director, said the museum could soon close its doors despite being a short distance from sites honoring Abraham Lincoln, The New York Times said Monday.

The original idea was that we'd get enough spillover from people visiting the Lincoln sites, said Marsh, whose group runs the struggling museum. But for whatever reason, that just hasn't happened. When a business isn't paying its way, as everyone knows, you have trouble.

Marsh said his group is determined to save the museum and its funerary displays.

At least one area resident said she is an avid fan of the museum despite its occasionally morbid and dark offerings.

It's really quite a cool place, Sarah Vaughn, who works at a nearby eatery, told the Times. I know that sounds macabre to say. But it's very interesting. I remember learning about Native American burials when I went there. It'll be sad for Springfield if it closes.