You are formally invited by Mrs. Moncur Hamilton (Karen Donathen Duffy) to join her at her home for an 1860s full immersion living history, A Time to Mourn.

This somber and moving experience is limited to twelve ladies* who will have the unique and very rare opportunity to live from Friday afternoon beginning at 1:00 pm through Sunday afternoon ending at 2:00 pm in the wonderful Shapley Ross House located in Moscow Mills, Missouri, less than one hour west of St. Louis. 
(If you are staying in the House, you may arrive any time after 11:00 on Friday so you can unpack, get settled and dress.) The first 6 ladies to register will have the privilege of having the option to lodge in the house; the remainder of participants may either set up camp on the lawn or lodge in a nearby hotel just 3 miles away in Troy, Missouri. (For planning purposes: The St. Louis airport is approximately 1 hour from the Shapley Ross House.)

*Gentlemen are welcome to attend but will be required to either set up
camp upon the house's grounds or lodge in one of the inns 3 miles away.

It is an exceptional opportunity to have unfettered utilization of a privately owned historic house museum.  In 2012, the home complete a renovation which included refinishing of the original wood floors, hanging of period hand-stamped reproduced wallpaper throughout the home, repainting of the original woodwork in the original colors, etc. The Shapley Ross House is filled with  early to mid-19th century period furnishings and material culture items both original and quality historical reproductions.  

Guests will live, dine & prepare for a 'Time to Mourn' in the Ross House!

Everything is at your disposal during the weekend, for your use and for your enjoyment, in order that you might truly be immersed in the recreated social setting of a private home of the period during your multi-day visit. Mrs. Hamilton's servants are there to assist you during your stay. You will dine on c. 1830 china with antique silverware, visit in the formal parlour while seated on Victorian settees and chairs, and, for the first 6 ladies who register, will also sleep on feather mattresses over straw tickings in period beds. (More ladies may be able to be accommodated with a bed if there are those who come with a friend and don't mind sharing a bed.) Our sessions on mourning and its customs will prepare us as we ready the home and ourselves for a bereavement.

A Time to Mourn is a private immersion weekend devoted to the study and understanding of 1850s-1860s mourning practices. Karen will be sharing her current in-depth research on Civil War MOURNING dispelling the misinformation and undocumented practices which reenactors perpetuate.  Karen has thus far researched over 100 primary source documents to glean information about MOURNING in the 1850s & 1860s. We will be recreating all aspects of mourning arriving to a family, from the announcement of death, the draping of the house, to a recreated funeral and interment. To accomplish this participants will study:

Mourning Stages:How long and for whom; what was allowed and what was frowned upon. A study of 2nd mourning practices will also be addressed
Mourning Attire of Both Genders:
What is worn, by whom, of what materials; and includes a study of bonnets and veils and mourning accessories. Regional differences and customs will be discussed
Mourning Calling Cards:
What were they, how were they used and the etiquette of making a bereavement call on the family in mourning
The Draped Home:
How did the home transformed once someone passed away? A study of the addition, removal and covering of domestic objects both indoors and out
Death's Reach:
Mourning practices of servants, livery and animals
Loss of a Child:
An encounter with customs associated with the all too common loss of a child
Mourning Symbolism:
A brief study of material and decorative culture as is was used and related to death and mourning
The Comfort of Hope: A study of the biblical hope and promises that were believed and clung to during the time of loss

Participants do not have to have mourning attire to attend!

​ This special weekend and its unique experiences is sure to leave you with a better understanding of the impact that the kiss of death had upon the mid-19th century family, home and society at large. It will be a weekend during which our veil of romanticizing mourning of the Civil War era is put away, and in its place the shroud of sadness and loss, the gifts that death brings to the living, is mournfully understood.

"Won't you join me for A Time to Mourn?"
-Mrs. Hamilton


ALL  Meals, Workshops, Activities, and Make & Take Items

$198 Per Person 

Just place a $75 non-refundable deposit to hold your place
Balance due August 31st, 2020

Period lodging in the home's antique feather beds available for

an additional fee of $95.00 for the first 6 to register. 
The one time $95  fee covers all nights!  Free Camping on the Grounds!

Note:Hotel Costs are not Included for Those Who May Need to Use Public Lodging

Limited to Twelve Participants
Registration Deadline is September 30, 2020.
1850s - 1860s  Attire Required for the Entire Weekend

~~~Mourning attire is not required~~~



Fill Out Form and Submit Registration Fee

All Sales are Final, Ticket price is non-refundable but is transferable.
Reservation is not confirmed or guaranteed until full payment is made.

All information on this site is subject to change

Retains the Right of Refusal on Ticket Sales

Participants Attend at their Own Risk


in cooperation with

The Historic Shapley Ross House, c. 1820

Moscow Mills, Missouri

(less than one hour west of St. Louis)

October 16-18, 2020

​​​​Grand Civilian Events'Tm 14

"Kindness You Can Depend On!"