The Bernstein Funeral Home was established in 1911 by Moses Bernstein. When most Athens streets were still dirt, Bernstein provided a water wagon to precede the funeral procession, wet the road, and thus minimize the amount of dust kicked up by the horses drawing the hearse.
Bernstein's service exceled in other ways as well. Bernstein offered the first motorized hearse in the state of Georgia. It was built on a 1913 Ford chassis by Klein and Martin Machine Shop. Bernstein also provided Athens with the first factory-assembled hearse.
In later years, Bernstein operated funeral services in town nears Athens and established a burial insurance society. He died in 1948.
In 1986, Bernstein Funeral Home was purchased by an affiliate of Service Corporation International. It is currently part of the Dignity Memorial national network of funeral, cremation, and cemetery service providers.