Funeral Streetcars

Funeral streetcars were found in major cities including Chicago, San Francisco, Detroit, Los Angeles, and others.  The Metropolitan Chicago transit system built two streetcars in 1910 built specifically for funeral service, each having drapes on the windows and a special compartment for the casket. images


They were used for funeral service until about 1919 at which time they were converted to regular passenger service. Cars 2857-2858 were originally designated funeral cars 1 and 2.  An article entitled “the New Chicago Trolley Car” appeared in the July 1910 issue of  “Park and Cemetery Magazine”. In it, a description of the trolley car was “designed to maintain taste, beauty, and harmony in keeping with the solemn occasion.”descanso_int


Although specific routes and cemeteries are not known, one funeral car ran west on Roosevelt Road (1200 South) to Austin Boulevard, the rest of the way to Forest Park was traveled by horse.

3 thoughts on “Funeral Streetcars”

  1. I was told that years past a street car hearse was a regular site running on Milwaukee Ave. out to St. Adalbert. It ended where the CTA turnaround is just past Devon, and the funeral director made arrangements for a wagon to carry the casket the last 1/2 mile .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very interesting. I am guessing that the funeral streetcar was because there was no railroad line to Adalbert. Both streetcar and railroad funeral servce faded to the motorized hearse. Thank you so much for writing


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