19th-century funeral rolls down Brooklyn streets | Photos
Two white Percheron horses trotted over tar bumps and metal bridges as they carried a wooden hearse through the streets of Brooklyn Friday morning.
The 1800s clashed with the 21st century when F.G. Guido Funeral Home took out its 1888 Studebaker horse-drawn hearse for a procession from their Carroll Gardens home to Green-Wood Cemetery.
Maria-Ray Guido, the business’s 6th generation director, smiled with excitement as the carriage sat parked on Clinton Street where the procession would start. The last time the Guido family brought the hearse out was 11 years ago for Guido’s mother.
“It’s a funeral that you don’t really see that much of going on,” Guido said. “Years ago my great great grandparents had a full livery because everything was obviously horses … and now that’s a thing of the past.”
The family of the funeral requested this special service for their loved one and Guido feared it might be one of the last times the funeral home would get to use the more than century-old hearse.
As the carriage made its way down Fifth Avenue to Green-Wood Cemetery after a mass, passersby cocked their heads and pulled out their cellphones to record the scene. Some drivers sharing the road with the age-old mode of transportation honked to push it along.
The Studebaker is decorated with wooden-carved designs on its sides and two sterling silver lanterns for gas-powered light that harken back to Brooklyn’s past.
Guido said it meant a lot to her to be able to take it out. “It’s great even just cleaning it,” she said.
F.G. Guido Funeral Home was launched by Guido’s great-great-grandfather in 1883 and is based out of the John Rankin House at 440 Clinton St., a national historic landmark that was built in 1840.
Passersby were taken aback by the scene that evoked a Brooklyn funeral in the 1800s.
Maria-Ray Guido, the funeral home’s 6th generation director, prepares for the procession. The last time she organized a procession with the 1888 Studebaker was 11 years ago for her mother’s funeral.
The horse-drawn hearse is equipped with wooden-carved designs on the sides and two sterling silver lanterns.
F.G. Guido Funeral Home on Clinton Street in Carroll Gardens has been operated by the same family since 1883.
The procession heads from Carroll Gardens to St. Augustine’s RC Church in Park Slope.
Guido rides passenger on the horse-drawn hearse that’s been in her family since the 19th century.
Guido leads the pallbearers to bring the casket into the church for mass.
Pallbearers remove the casket from the hearse to bring it into St. Augustine’s RC Church for mass.
Pallbearers bring the casket to the hearse to bring it to Green-Wood Cemetery.
The funeral procession prepares to head to Green-Wood Cemetery.
The carriage had to make its way over tar bumps and around construction sites to arrive at its destinations.
The two Percheron horses trot up the hill to the gates of Green-Wood Cemetery for the final stop of the funeral procession.