Grave of Florence Irene Ford
WHEN FLORENCE IRENE FORD DIED at the age of 10, her mother made a strange request: she asked that her daughter’s coffin be fitted with a small window, with stairs leading down to the casket.
During her short life, Florence, born September 3, 1861, was terrified of storms.
As soon as one rolled in, she’d run to her mother, Ellen, who would patiently comfort her until the storm passed.
In 1871, at the age of 10, Florence died of yellow fever. Her mother, naturally distraught, couldn’t bear the thought of Florence being buried, as she still wanted to comfort her during storms, even as she lay at rest.
So Ellen had a small window fitted at the head of her daughter’s casket, and a narrow stairway built six-feet down to the level of the window.
Ellen had hinged metal trapdoors installed at the top of the stairs so she could shut them during storms, protecting her from the wind and rain as she sat by her daughter’s coffin, reading or singing to her until the storm passed.
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