Tuesday, November 09, 2010

How Much For That Tombstone In The Window

How Much For That Tombstone In The Window. Over the years I have spent a lot of time in cemeteries. And while wandering about looking at all the grave markers I have often wondered about how much they must have cost. Many are quite large and beautiful and it must have been a fair burden for some of the families to pay for. Times were hard in The Good Old Days. People did not always have a lot of extra cash. But it was very important to them to have a nice memorial for their loved ones. So to that end I have done a little digging and one of the first things I found was a 1902 Sears and Roebuck catalogue. When I think of shopping at Sears tombstones are not the first thing I think of. But back then Sears sold just about everything you could think of.

The prices in 1902 would seem to start around $6 dollars for a small stone and go right up to almost $30 for a big 4ft tall stone. This would appear quite cheap to us. But when you think about how little people made back then. You realize just how costly they were and how hard it must have been to pay for. For example the 1901 Canadian Census tells us that back then a good wage for a man was about $1.50 to $1.75 per day. So you're looking at a week to a month's pay just for a tombstone. Not an easy burden. Then when you add the cost of the funeral and the fact that the person being buried was in many cases the main source of income for the family. One can really start to get a feeling of just how important it must have been to the family to have a nice marker.


TCasteel said...

Apparently Sears was a big source of tombstones for many.

Karen the AncesTree Sprite said...

What a neat idea to post about!

My paternal grandmother bought an 8 grave plot in the family's church cemetery shortly after her father had been buried in that same cemetery. Eight plots for eternity cost her what we now pay for a DVD movie. She paid a total of $30 at the time. Of course this was in the 1920s and $30 was quite a chunk of change back then.