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Inmates Restore Antique Hearse for Town of Knox 

A piece of Knox’s history is well on its way to being restored to its original glory.Back in December, inmates at the Maine State Prison’s Industries Program began working on the town’s antique, horse-drawn hearse.Today, folks from the historical society paid a visit to the prison in Warren to check on the progress so far.Amy Erickson was there.The last time the folks from the Knox Historical Society saw the town’s antique hearse…it looked like this…Fast forward just three short months…here’s what it looks like now.”It was amazing! The transformation! It’s beautiful. I just love it.”The progress is thanks to the hard work of the inmates in the Maine State Prison’s Industries program.Since the prison built the original hearse in the late 1800s, the folks who run the industries program thought it was fitting that they restore it for the town.”They’re doing a wonderful job. from what I’ve seen so far. I’m really impressed.””It’s quite a challenge. We’re having a good time doing it. We love doing it.”Ron Harnish has put many hours into the project…it hasn’t been easy.”There’s a massive amount of hand sanding. We’ve probably got 60 hours on one side just hand sanding.””We still have a lot of sanding to do. Once we get that done, we’ll send it to the upholstery shop and have the inside all upholstered. Then we’ll bring it back and paint it.”Robert Welch wasn’t prepared to see such a drastic change in such a short amount of time.”It’s hard to believe some of these inmates have got the skills to do something like this. They’ve really got something behind them. I love it.””Remarkable. Remarkable. It’s hard to believe what a piece of history this is.”The town of Knox bought the horse-drawn hearse for three hundred dollars back in 1889.Present-day historical society members are hoping to be able to unveil the restored piece at the Brooks 4th of July parade this summer.”It’s awesome. I’m just really happy that we decided to do this.”Amy Erickson, WABI TV5 News, Warren.>