O'Brien County's Bell-Times-Courier -

The Buried Past


What: The Buried Past by Chad Oolman

When: Wednesday, August 7, 6pm (doors open at 5:30)

Where: The Dutch American Heritage Museum

120 Third Street SW Orange City

(south of the Sioux County Courthouse)

Chairs are provided but seating is limited.

Cost: Freewill donation to help with ongoing museum projects.

The Buried Past

There is a photo in Orange City’s Centennial Book of a funeral procession. The few trees are leafless adding to the solemnity of the day. First Reformed Church stands in the background, behind the horse drawn buggies that the pastors and mourners are seated in. The deceased lies in the glass paneled funeral carriage also drawn by black horses.

Death is a natural part of life and is part of Sioux County’s history. We wonder how were the deceased cared for in days past, how have funerals changed, many unspoken questions about the mortuary science.

To answer a few of our questions Chad Oolman will be the museum’s speaker on Wednesday, August 7 at the Dutch American History Museum. He joined his father, Larry, in the family business Oolman Funeral Homes in 1997.

“My presentation will be a combination of general practices from the later 1800’s through today and who the various providers have been,” said Oolman. “I have a number of photographs and newspaper articles and advertisements that pertain to undertaker, ambulance service and funeral directors in Sioux County.”

He will provide information on items that the museum already has on display as well as additional items he is donating to the museum that evening.

At the Oolman Funeral Home, Oolman had put together a display of antique items he has found or has been given that related to Orange City funeral homes. In 2007 when his father reached the milestone of forty years in business in Orange City, he put together a book of the history of funeral homes going back to the men who started them in Orange City and Hull. These two projects gave him the impetus to begin delving into mortuary history more deeply as it pertained to this area.

The Buried Past is the third presentation of the 2019 Nights at the Museum at the Dutch American Heritage Museum. Through these presentations the museum strives to tell the area’s history as it has been recorded through newspaper and archived information from those who lived through these historic times.

The next scheduled presentation is Our Native Americans by Dr. James Schaaf at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 10.


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