Buy a Piece of New Bedford History With This Horse-Drawn Hearse
Looking to own a unique piece of New Bedford history? A man on Craigslist is selling an old funeral carriage made right here on the SouthCoast, and for the right price, it could be yours.
George L. Brownell was a famous carriagemaker based out of New Bedford throughout the mid-1800s. According to California State Parks, his hearses were used across the region, and many were even shipped across and outside the country. Brownell's business boomed until just before cars replaced horse-drawn carriages as a primary means for transportation, and, in 2021, his carriages are certainly something you don't see very often – until today.
A man named Dave in Wolcott, Connecticut is selling one of Brownell's famous horse-drawn hearses, which he said came into his possession after his father bought it from someone in The Constitution State. The hearse is looking quite spiffy for its age, and has been fully restored, containing all original lamps, curtains, poles, shafts and skis.
So how much is Dave looking to get for priceless piece of SouthCoast history? The Brownell hearse is currently listed on Craigslist for $15,000. While it's hard to say exactly how much a Brownell hearse would be worth these days, it seems like similar carriages can vary in price quite a bit. During a quick trip to hearseforsale.org, I found 19th century hearses going for anywhere between $6,500 to $16,000.
The inside of the hearse is just as spooky as you'd expect from anything still around from the 1850s, but it's still pretty neat to see the details of such a historic piece of machinery made right in our own backyards.