About two months ago, I abandoned Mr. Johnson on the road to Laramie. And several people have asked me to please get back to his story, so …

“The morning of the 27th [of May 1883] found me up before there was any light. I turned the cattle loose for grass, greased my wagon, made a fire, boiled coffee and eggs, and opened a can of salmon. My breakfast being ready I brought in the cattle and gave them some grain, then I sat down to my breakfast to be ready to move onwards together. After breakfast, started onward, and having traveled about a mile came to a house. Here was a man, his wife, and two children. I inquired the name of this canyon. ‘It is called Miller’s canyon, stranger.’ ‘How far is it to Green River city?’ ‘Twenty-five miles, stranger.’ ‘How far to the next house?’ ‘I do not know the distance, but it is a long way; in fact, I never was east of here more than fifty miles, stranger.’ ‘How long have you been here?’ ‘Six years or more, stranger.’

“I left them and ascended the mountain, attaining its summit — traveling three-fourths of a circle in the distance of eight miles. About ten o’clock I passed a trail to my left and on a board nailed to a post I read, ‘To Soda Springs, crossing on Green River without Ferry.’ Went down the mountain and at its base I crossed a deep gulch on snow. A short distance from this gulch I came to a creek of good water. Here we stopped, my cattle took water and grain, myself and dog, bread, cheese, and cold coffee. We go on our road today, so far good, no rivers, creeks, or sloughs.

“The day is fast closing; it is time we should have come to grass. I have traveled all day and seen none; we must go into camp without water or grass. I spoke to my horse, ‘Fanny, we will go no further today; we have no grass or water, you will be obliged to eat your grain without.’ It is hard, plenty of grass and water one day and none the next. I drove into the sage bush, just out of the trail, and stopped. Fed my cattle with grain, spread my blankets on the ground and laid down for the night, but could not go to sleep. I would lay awhile and then get up and talk to my cattle and then lay down again, but could not drop off to sleep. Several times I got up and laid down again, and after a while I dropped off to sleep, not knowing it at the time.”

to be continued …

One of the vehicles up for auction at last weekend’s Martin Auctioneers carriage sale was an original-condition Brewster coach. It was described in the catalog as a Park Drag, but it appears to be bigger and heavier and perhaps more akin to a Road Coach … and the boot opens the “wrong” way for a Park Drag (from the side instead of from the top). But, regardless, it was an original-condition thing of beauty.

Here are some photos of the coach (taken with the camera on my phone in less-than-ideal lighting, so please excuse the low quality) …

We have views of the toe-board lamp, a view and a detail of one side lamp, and a bit of the other side lamp with its glass turned around for daytime; both doors, one with the window down and the other with the shutter up; details of a rear wheel and the undercarriage; a (dark!) view of the original upholstery, a look at the coach lace on the door, and the Brewster name plate on the inside of one of the doors.

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coach1

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coach2

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coach1a

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coach3

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coach9

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coach7

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coach8

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coach 10

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coach11

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coach12

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coach13

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coach5

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coach6

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coach4

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As I, as they say, hit the road this afternoon for my loooong drive to Martin’s Auction … here’s a busy street scene from Boston, in 1906. Enjoy!

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Hmmm… What’s going on here, in front of the Riverside Inn (at Saranac Lake in New York’s Adirondack Mountains), c. 1909?? There are several horse-drawn vehicles, all sporting advertisements and banners, some spectators, a few barefoot children … and even a brass band.

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For this first day of October, here’s an autumnal view of Riverside Drive in New York, c. 1910.

There are a few automobiles, a few horse-drawn vehicles, lots of pedestrians, and a lady sitting on the fence in a really enormous hat.

Enjoy looking around!

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Thanks to Mindy Groff (our occasional guest-blogger from the Carriage Museum of America) for this post on exploring public libraries …

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When I visit a new place, I’m always curious to see the library. Wherever we travel – from Mackinac Island to the campus of Yale, New York City to Indianapolis – my husband has gotten used to taking detours so that I can poke around neat buildings and unique collections. But there are many parts of this country I’ve yet to explore and many libraries I will never get a chance to visit. Because of this, I’m always excited to learn about opportunities to peruse collections online from the comfort of my computer.

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is an internet portal through which materials from collections around the country can be searched, viewed, and even downloaded. It’s a way for internet users like you and me to search through the holdings at libraries, archives, and museums around the country, without visiting them in person. The DPLA pulls resources from a variety of “Hubs,” (large libraries or collecting institutions around the country, which in turn collect resources from smaller organizations within their region), and assembles them into a single searchable database. So with a simple search on their website (www.dp.la), you can access materials from around the country.

I’ve spent a good part of my morning exploring this website. (Have I mentioned recently that I love my job?) Knowing that readers of this blog share my interest in history and/or carriages, I know that you’ll enjoy it as well. Here are just a few of my favorite finds from typing “carriage” into the search box. Try a search for yourself to find thousands more!

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dpla carriage in south yard

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From the collection of the Smithsonian Archives – History Division

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dpla horse and carriage crossing river

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Image courtesy of L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602.

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One of our CAA members forwarded a link to this fascinating old photo (taken on Sept. 23, 1871), which is in the collection at the University of Minnesota’s Kathryn A. Martin Library, in Duluth.

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Stagecoach_leaving_Superior_for_St_Paul_Duluth_Minnesota

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When she sent the image, Vicki wrote, “This stage ran from Superior, Wisconsin, around the bay to Duluth, Minnesota, and on to St. Paul, Minnesota. It was the last stage to do the trip, as the railway had already arrived at the head of the lake (Lake Superior).”

Thanks, Vicki, for alerting us to this great photo!

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