As part of The Westfield Historical Society’s First Wednesday Luncheon series, Joan Schaible will talk on the subject of “Victorian Death & Mourning Traditions” on Jan. 8.

Much of the 19th century was known as the Victorian period as was so named during the 60-year reign of England’s Queen Victoria.  Indeed, her influence was evidenced in American death and mourning practices which may appear morbid or strange today. During this presentation, explore preparation of the home and deceased, taphophobia, post-mortem photography, the wake, funeral service, internment, park cemeteries, and grave stone symbolism.  Even after the loved one had passed away, mourning could continue for years. The event will begin with check-in at 11:45 a.m. at Ferraro’s Restaurant (2nd Floor), 14 Elm Street, Westfield.

Schaible was born and raised in New Jersey and attended Taylor University, Upland, IN. She taught middle school social studies and language arts in the town of Boonton, NJ. Ms. Schaible worked for the Morris County Park Commission as a Historical Program Specialist at Fosterfields Living Historical Farm in Morris Twp., NJ. She also serves as a docent at The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms, Parsippany, NJ.  Joan spends time giving a variety of presentations for school children and adult groups, as well as at libraries and senior centers.

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Those wishing to attend the luncheon may make a reservation by email to; or, by calling 908-654-1794, before Friday, January 3rd. Please advise if there are special dietary needs. The luncheon fee of $35 (WHS members) or $40 (non-members) includes a three-course meal, coffee/tea, and gratuity. The luncheon fee should be paid in advance (check payable to Westfield Historical Society) by mailing to Westfield Historical Society, P.O. Box 613, Westfield, NJ  07091; or, online at Payments should be received by Friday prior to the luncheon. Westfield Historical Society memberships will also be available at the luncheon.

Since 1968, the 501(c)(3) non-profit Westfield Historical Society has worked to preserve, interpret and encourage interest in history, Westfield, and its residents through educational efforts and community outreach programs.

Ferraro’s Restaurant is at 14 Elm Street, Westfield, NJ. Elevator access is available.

For more information on the Westfield Historical Society and their events, visit and like on Facebook.