Museum of Mortality 501c3 Not-for-Profit Kickoff

Museum of Mortality is the brainchild of Melinda Mitchell. With her morbid fascinations, love of history, and fearless passion this project is coming into being. She is currently working hard to get Museum of Mortality it's 501c3 not-for-profit status,  the museum catalogue program for all the artifacts already in possession, a computer to run the program on, plus insurance on the artifacts. The 501c3 status allows for donations to be tax deductible, allows access to grant money, and opens the doors for larger fundraising projects. The whole project is about engaging the public of all ages, opening up sensitive subjects like death, funerals, and medicine.

Donation Levels if you wish to claim them, also working on fill in levels-
$1-5- Thank you on our facebook and website.
$6-10- One of our custom silicone wristbands sent to you, in the US only
$40- Tee shirt in your size mailed to you, plus a wrist band, US only when we go to print.
$250- A custom 4x8 brick, when we have our actual location in the works.
$500- A custom 8x8 brick when we have our location

To claim please email us to work out details. Thank you!

More in depth about the mission and vision for Museum of Mortality:

On your gravestone you have two dates, separated by a dash. It is neither date that is important, but rather the dash in between. Yet we hold such a fear about the end date. What is it that causes this fear? Not too long ago the world was a different place. Death was an every day subject, where sex was taboo. We fear death because of the unknown factors that surround it, yet with the advancements in medical treatments, medicines, and overall health care, that end date has been pushed further and further back for many of us. It is more then just the age old question of is there a Heaven or a Hell, but more along the lines of what Hell on Earth will we suffer through before the end comes. For some it is the worry about what happens to our bodies and soul after our last breath has been taken.

The Museum of Mortality would like to help strip those layers of misconceptions and fear back to reveal the truth about our own mortality. It is a journey of time. We invite people to come and see what life was like in the old days where everyone talked about death because it was an every day occurrence. We are inviting them to see the medical advancements that have been made over the years that has lengthened our existences.

But most of all we hope to create an environment where talking about death and all the things that surround it, are no longer the beast to fear in the dark corners. Bring it into the light, and out of the past so we can learn.

Let us take a peek behind the mysterious curtain of the Funeral Business. Delve deep with in the recesses of the human body to understand disease. Connect with the spirits in a dance of traditions that were created to put our minds at ease.

The Museum of Mortality will have several main sections, and some sub sections.

The first main area will cover funeral traditions, customs, and habits of Americans from approximately 1700's through the early 1900's. We will showcase the general customs and traditions through the use of artifacts, antiques and miniature rooms and displays. Here we will show how traditions changed during the Victorian era especially. Jewelry, hair art, coffins and caskets, clothing, accessories, decorations, and funeral processions are just some of the items featured.

The second main area will cover Medical Treatments and Advancements. From leaches, honey, mud, maggots, and battlefield amputations to precise surgeries, patented medications. We hope to have a wall dedicated to a temperature chart showing the mortality rates per year and what medical treatments may have figured in the decreased mortality rate. Surgical tools, procedural explanations, a full size replica antique apothecary, and a miniature surgical theater will allow us a glimpse into the past techniques used by doctors. Here we will also delve into and showcase embalming and other preservation methods for the dead.

The third area will cover the spirituality aspect of dying. Carrying over into the 1700's, people feared herbalists, midwives, and others for the speculation of witchcraft. Yet by the Victorian era the Spiritualist movement became popular with contacting the dead seeking information about the afterlife. Mesmerism, hypnosis, table rapping, spirit boards, and more became the up and up of higher society. Focusing on the Fox Sisters, Houdini (skeptic and debunker), to Doyle (true believer) to show how our society changed its beliefs. Also through the spiritualist movement, midwifery and herbalism started to make a comeback, which also included nursing.

There will be meeting space for groups, discussions, on the floor theater, and so much more. We would like to have a full size séance room that can be rigged for table-rapping, or not. A full size parlor set up in full Victorian mourning complete with coffin, for a photo opportunity. Then as we expand the museum we would like to include funerary traditions from around the world, i.e. Egyptian Mummification, Sky Burials, Funeral Pyres including India and Scandinavian areas. This would also lead into the other types of burials allowed today, showing that there is more out there besides a coffin and burial, or cremation and interment. Another area we would like to move into would be showing the differences in American traditions and burials, i.e. the Northern American traditions, in the ground burials, and how they differ from Southern American traditions, above ground crypts. The main focus here would be traditions from Louisiana. We will also keep several areas available for rotating displays/ exhibits from other museums, or trusts in each area of the museum.

This is the vision we have for the Museum of Mortality. I do hope you will be able to see and share our concept, thoughts and ideas. Please stay tuned to our website and social media outlets for news and updates.
Welcome to the Museum of Mortality. Death and the dead are around us all the time, though we sometimes fail to see it. Experience the meaning of life as you traverse the world of mortality through the eyes of those who have come before us. See what life and death was like from the Georgian through the Turn of the Century America. Though we are in the planning stages, but we figured you could start following us now as we build and grow this little idea. Check out our Blog, our Mercantile, and so much more! Feel free to contact us to sign up for email updates, and/or our blog in the other tabs at the top. We look forward to serving you soon.
  • Robyn Deike 
    • $50 
    • 10 mos
  • Karen Barlettano 
    • $50 
    • 11 mos
  • Chris Smith 
    • $20 (Offline)
    • 24 mos
  • Deborah Olson 
    • $25 (Offline)
    • 24 mos
  • Randi Sparkman 
    • $20 (Offline)
    • 24 mos
See all


Melinda Mitchell 
Burlington, WI