Cost-cutting caskets made in Rock Hill

Merritt Eggleston knows all too well the effects of a recession.

The former construction superintendent watched his income dwindle as work slowed, then stopped. Then he lost the house he was building because he could no longer afford it.

But Eggleston, 66, hopes to turn desperation into opportunity with a one-man business he's pretty sure will be recession-proof — and save money for customers.

Meet Merritt Eggleston, casket maker.

Specifically, Eggleston — operating as P&M Contracting — makes wooden caskets. They're not fancy, nor are they supposed to be. Serviceability and reliability are what he's going for. But he's also going for something equally important in this economy: affordability.

"There's definitely a market," Eggleston said, standing in his backyard woodshop, where he's already built six caskets in addition to many other types of boxes he sells to bring in money.

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