President Abraham Lincoln’s Replica Casket, which will be on display throughout President’s week at the Valade Funeral Home in N. Grosvenordale. Courtesy photo.

N. GROSVENORDALE — Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the U.S. and one of the most revered presidents in our country’s history, will be at Valade Funeral Home Feb. 21.
President Lincoln’s visit, in the person of Phillip A. Chetwynd, a scholar who has dedicated his life to studying the character of Lincoln, is part of a year-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of Gilman and Valade Funeral Homes & Crematory.  The funeral home, founded in 1919 by Alexander Gilman and currently owned and operated by Robert R. Fournier Jr., is planning educational and social events throughout the year to commemorate its centennial.
The visit by Lincoln, which will include the viewing of a replica of Lincoln’s casket, is from 3 to 7 p.m. Feb. 21 at the recently renovated Valade Funeral Home, 23 Main St. There is no charge for the event, which is open to the public.  The casket will also be on display through President’s Week, from Feb. 18 to Feb. 22.
Constructed of solid walnut and covered in an expensive black cloth, the casket measures 6 feet, 6 inches to accommodate Lincoln’s lanky 6-4 frame.  The original casket, most likely created by an Irish artisan, has many unique features including four shamrock designs, a large leaf with a silver star, and a plush white satin interior.
“This living history display is a great educational tool for students and individuals interested in President Lincoln.  As we celebrate 100 years of compassionate care and guidance to the families of northeastern Connecticut, this is our way of offering our thanks and appreciation,” said Fournier.
According to Bill Juzwic, funeral director at the funeral home, tours and a video will be available from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. outlining Lincoln’s life and his final days.  At 5:30 p.m., 51st Assembly District State Representative Rick L. Hayes will present the President with a proclamation from the Connecticut Legislature, followed by a proclamation presentation by Thompson First Selectman Ken Beausoleil.  
Chetwynd, as President Lincoln, will address the gathering speaking about the circumstances surrounding the end of the Civil War and his final days, prior to his assassination by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater.  Lincoln will be accompanied by a soldier in Civil War attire, playing a fife and drum.  President Lincoln will be available to answer questions following his address.
“There are many history buffs who are interested in the life of President Lincoln.  This is a unique opportunity for everyone to witness Lincoln firsthand, hear his words and learn about his special casket[RC1][RC2].  We’re hoping that people from Thompson and surrounding communities will take advantage of this weeklong presentation,” said Juzwic.
Throughout the week, when the Lincoln casket is on display, local schools, historical societies, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, senior citizen groups and other youth and civic organizations are encouraged to visit the Valade Funeral Home to see the casket.  Arrangements to attend this event may be made by calling Juzwic at 860.928.7723 or by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


RocketTheme Joomla Templates