The Northwoods Casket Company recently acquired the former Koepsell-Murray funeral home property at 109 N. Lincoln Ave. in Beaver Dam, from the Koepsell family.
The gallery will be open to the general public with a grand opening event Sept. 20 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The 10,000-square-foot funeral home will serve as the casket builder’s headquarters, workshop, and gallery. The accessible ground floor will exhibit more than 30 casket styles, colors and personalized options all available for purchase through local funeral homes.
Additionally, the gallery will sell home furnishings by the company’s new brand, Carriage House Works. The 5,000-square-foot remodeled basement will serve as workshop space for both finishing and upholstery activities, while all woodworking activities will continue at Northwoods’ multiple other workshops around Wisconsin.
“The gallery is a game changer for us,” says Jonas Zahn, founder of Northwoods Casket Co. “For almost 10 years we have sold caskets nationwide through catalog sales to funeral homes. This gallery will help build local demand by making it possible to display one-of-a-kind, themed, and personalized caskets for local delivery.”
The casket builder delivers to every funeral home in Wisconsin with next-day white glove delivery service.
“This is a fantastic idea,” said Russ Koepsell, “and a very fitting use for this funeral home that served our family business for so many years.”
Beth Koepsell-Zeamer has already started sending families to select a casket, cremation casket, or urn that suits the family.
Northwoods Casket Co. has built a casket business primarily focused on Wisconsin funeral homes. The company is committed to sustainability by crafting caskets from locally sourced, sustainable woods adorned with non-toxic paints, natural oils, and VOC-free natural wax and oil wood finishes. Casket interiors are made from biodegradable, organically grown natural cotton, and other environmentally friendly fabrics made from hemp, flax, and wood pulp. Styles range from historic to contemporary.
Founders Jonas and Julie Zahn have committed to plant 10 million trees in their lifetime and plant 100 trees for every single casket the company builds.
“Planting trees is a core element of our business. Planting 10 million trees is more than a commitment to the good people of Wisconsin—it is a promise I have made to my two children,” Jonas Zahn said.
Carriage House Works is the company’s new brand that sells Arts & Crafts period furniture, steampunk and Edison lighting, reclaimed lumber, vintage wood flooring, milk paint, natural oil finishes, and vintage lamp parts.
Handcrafting home furnishings is a natural extension of casket making and vice versa. Historically, caskets were made by local furniture makers.
“We love what we do--crafting fine things from wood, using natural oil finishes, borrowing techniques mastered in 16th century England, and bringing both quality and beauty into the home.”
Everything in the gallery is made from locally sourced materials by the hands of local artists with sustainable and eco-friendly products and techniques.