The mausoleums in Central Florida were surveyed and analyzed for trends involving both the physical structure of the tombs and the demographics of the individuals within them. A number of observations about the tomb structures were noted. The 107 mausoleums display a variety of construction materials, architectural styles, and epitaph choices. The materials used to build these structures went through identifiable phases of concrete/brick, marble, and granite. Double crypts are the normal arrangement used in the survey area. The 1960s and 1970s were the most popular decades for the construction of mausoleums, followed by another big jump in the 1990s. The majority of mausoleums are oriented on the cardinal coordinates, the only exceptions being those in memorial parks that face the curved driveways and lakeshores. A small percentage of tombs are inscribed with epitaphs that can be categorized by relationship, religious quotes, and other common phrases, such as “Rest in Peace.”

In addition to physical traits of the tomb, trends in mausoleum usage are apparent from the demographic information gleaned from the families and historic data. Caucasians are the primary group entombed in family mausoleums. The ratio of men to women is fairly even, with children rarely entombed. In the popular double-crypt mausoleums, men are normally placed on the left, and they are usually the first interment. The people purchasing mausoleums were wealthy and lived longer than average lives. The median age at death was 77 years—10.91 years past the average life expectancy.

Wealthy Central Floridians have used aboveground private entombment for over a century. As the area continues to grow, other residents will also choose to create mausoleums to memorialize their families.

View More in this Exhibit: