Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Berthoud Funeral Home...and Arts Center?

When I was a girl, my mother's parents lived in the little town of Berthoud, which is about 30 miles south of Fort Collins. My grandfather was the funeral director at the Berthoud Funeral Home. Growing up as the child of a mortician endowed my mother with a unique perspective and a good sense of humor. In Kansas, her family lived above the funeral home, and she would tell her friends that if the floor collapsed, her bed would land right on the embalming table. 

Thankfully, the Berthoud Funeral Home was separate from the residence. My sister and I visited often, and that arrangement was creepy enough for us. Just knowing that the brick building across the yard housed dead bodies on a regular basis gave us the willies. 

I haven't been to Berthoud in years, but last week when my younger son had a baseball game there, my older son and I walked over to check things out while the team warmed up. I didn't know it years ago, but the house my grandparents lived in is historic. It was built by F.I. Davis, the town's first mayor, who came to Berthoud from the Sunshine mining camp west of Boulder in 1886. I learned this from the plaque out front. The house has been converted to offices, but it was after hours, so I couldn't get inside. 


The funeral home is now an arts center. I tried to keep an open mind, but after a look through the window into the big room where the caskets used to hang out--sometimes occupied, sometimes not--I told my son that no matter how colorful the outside of the building was:


it would always be a funeral home to me.



1 comment:

Susan Kane said...

OH, I do know what you are saying. A friend once lived in an old funeral home, and she said it was creepy.