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1:54 PM

Mausoleum History

As co-owner of Fergus Falls Monument Co. and a third generation monument builder living in the North Central United States, I grew up visiting cemeteries on every family trip to virtually every state and country I have ever been to.  My cemetery visits around the world have shown me the relationship between time, economy and geography.  The history of mausoleums is quite fascinating and that is what I am focusing this blog on. 

As one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the mausoleum created for king Mausolus in Turkey is where the modern word derived from.  Over time these large tombs most commonly used for peoples of great importance were downsized and available to nobility in many countries.  As Christianity became more common (when the Roman Empire chose Christianity as their official religion) the use of mausoleums became less so.  The only permitted method of disposing bodies was burial throughout most of Europe.   It wasn’t long before the wealthy and prominent peoples of many countries once again started using mausoleums for a resting place.

The two largest influences that gave way to the use of smaller Mausoleums for individual families were the establishment of acres of land for use in cemeteries around 1804 which became the norm spreading from France, and in 1861 when Queen Victoria made memorialization fashionable when Albert passed away.  These changes led to an economical demand for affordable above ground burial.

Although the mausoleum is an effective way to keep moisture from being an issue in areas like New Orleans, history points more towards tradition and fashion rather than functionality as being the factor in choosing above ground burial.