It occurred to me to that I never posted any photos from the Sunday-morning pleasure drive at the CAA’s recent Carriage Festival at the Kentucky Horse Park.

So without further ado, here are a few drivers enjoying the beautiful morning …










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Here’s a neat photo of a church on Fifth Avenue in New York City, c. 1905.

At the time, of course, people and horses needed to stand still for a while to show up clearly (or at all) in a photograph. And several of these pedestrians, plus at least one automobile, don’t seem to have bothered!


The next day, Mr. Johnson wrote, …

“On the morning of the 23rd, I was up and around looking to my cattle, doing this and that, not knowing what the next would be. I went to the river and looked at the marks made last night, and found the water four inches lower and went back to the camp and turned the cattle loose, that they might eat plenty of good grass, made a fire and got me another ‘poor’ breakfast. Then I went back to the river, being anxious to see some team coming from the East crossing the river, to see if it was fordable.

“About one mile east of us is Grange station, which is a junction of the Union Pacific and the Oregon Short Line, running within twenty rods of my camp. About nine o’clock, the express train from the East passed by. After the passing of this train, I saw four teams coming from the East. Three were heavy wagons and one a light Eastern wagon on springs, drawn by two horses each. On coming to the river, they stopped; their trail from Granges was close to the railroad track, and not more than forty feet from the bridge. As they got to the bank, the men, women, and children, to the number of twenty-three, got out and made for the river. I was some distance from them and went to the junction of the two rivers, opposite to them. We tried to talk across, but the roar of the waters prevented us from hearing one another.

“They went back to their wagons; two horses were then taken from one of the wagons, unharnessed, and two men mounted them and rode down into the river and out on its opposite banks, then they rode on about eight rods and down into the larger river and across to where I was. The first river was about four rods across, the second about eight rods. As soon as they got to me, they commenced asking me, where I was from, where going, and how long had I been at the river? I told them where I was from and where I intended to haul up, and so on. I told them that I reached this river yesterday, and had been waiting there since that time, and now I will cross with them.

“They re-crossed the river, I following close after and got over all right.

“The teamsters now got ready to cross with their wagons, and I watched them at a distance of twelve rods. They drove their largest wagon first down to the river, the two men on horseback leading. As the big, heavy team went into the river, the wheels sunk deep into the mud, but the horses were game and pulled it across the two rivers all right. The second wagon got across with the same good fortune and [they] returned for the third team, which was the covered light carriage, with springs, the horses were fine and spirited ones. In this carriage were four women and two children. As they were going down into the river, the bank being cut up by the other teams in crossing, the horses stepped deep into the mud and began to act meanly. The driver, however, was an excellent horseman and spoke to his horses sharply, and led them out safely. One of the women, however, was so badly frightened that she lay unconscious for over two hours.

“The fourth vehicle was got across all right. It was eleven o’clock when we all had forded the two rivers, and seeing them safely across I went on my way, and about three o’clock I came to another river. I followed this river for several miles, until coming to a fine plat of grass where I went into camp for the night, turning my cattle loose to graze. I made a fire and got my supper, and after bringing the cattle and fastening them up for the night I went to bed.”

Continuing from yesterday …

“On the morning of the 22nd, I did not awaken as early as usual, my rest of the night having been broken. While I was making my breakfast, I gave the cattle another chance at the grass and then gave grain, after which we moved on.

“It was six o’clock when we left the camp; my road was very rough. Can my carriage stand it? It is doubtful. I led the horse over every stone that I thought would strain the carriage, but as I progressed the road improved. I traveled as fast as I dared and soon came to a small creek; just what I wanted, as the cattle were very thirsty, here I gave them some grain and then moved on and soon came to the railroad, which after crossing I came to a large river, but did not learn its name.

“There being plenty of grass, I concluded to go no further and went info camp, turning the cattle loose to eat as they pleased. I went to the river prospecting and found a junction of two rivers, and made marks to ascertain whether the river was rising or falling. As I went back to the camp I gathered some fuel and made a good large fire, and got me ready a good supper; that is, what I called good. I carry a variety of eatables, so that I had the stuff for a good meal.

“Well, here we are, the four of us: horse, cow, dog, and self. It is just seven o’clock in the evening, on the banks of a river unknown. I secured my cattle, gave them grain, made up my bed, and was about to lie down, when a train of cars came along from Ogden.”

It’s been a while since we checked in with Mr. Johnson. When we last met up with him on his cross-country trek, he’d just forded a swollen river. …

“The morning of the 21st [of May 1883] found me up early, as usual, making ready to move onward. I fed my cattle on grain, no grass, nothing but sage bushes around. I made a fire, got some coffee, and sat down to breakfast. The box from which my horse eats her grain serves me as a seat when not otherwise in use.

“After breakfast I moved on. My road is not as good as usual, it is rough and stony. About ten o’clock I came to a small creek and gave the cattle water; they were thirsty, drinking as though they had not seen water since crossing the ford, and there they did not stop to drink. ‘Come, Fanny, we must go on,’ I said.

“About one o’clock I saw two teams approaching. As we met, of course we stopped; we do not have to stop more than once a day. ‘Good morning, gentlemen,’ I said. ‘Where are you from, excuse me asking?’ ‘Oh, yes; that is all right. We are from Green River City.’ ‘Where did you camp last night?’ ‘About ten miles from here.’ ‘Did your cattle get grass?’ ‘Oh, yes; where we stopped the grass was good.’ ‘About ten miles. How is the road that distance?’ ‘Very rough.’

“We then went on and at three o’clock, stopped and gave my cattle grain. After eating we again went on until coming to the grass of which I had been told, and went into camp. It was not yet time to go into camp, but there being grass we must stop, as going on we might not come to any more for many miles. I turned the cattle loose, allowing them to have their fill, then I made them fast for the night. While they were eating, I gathered some wood for a fire, got my supper ready, ate it, and went to bed.

“In the night, I was awakened by the horse. I knew then there was something around. I got up and saw the horse looking a given direction, and on turning that way I saw a herd of deer feeding. I went back to bed and did not awake until dawn.”

In this photo from 1906, we see the huge Hotel Brunswick in Boston … along with a lot of pedestrians, an automobile, three horse-drawn vehicles (probably all cabs), the “Copley Lunch” diner & coffee house, and even a dog.

Enjoy looking around!

Guest post from the CMA’s Mindy Groff …


While looking for something entirely different, I came across this advertisement in the February 1899 issue of The Carriage Monthly.


I wasn’t familiar with Pantasote, so I was curious to learn more about the product being advertised. Pantasote is an imitation leather that was produced by the Pantasote Company of New York City beginning in 1891. It was a durable, relatively inexpensive material that was widely used for upholstery purposes, and eventually became quite popular for use in automobiles. It was available in a variety of colors, and could be finished in regular leather grain or with a high-relief embossed effect.

The American Carpet and Upholstery Journal advertised a price of $1.10 per yard in October 1904. You could buy an imitation version for less than half the price, but Pantasote warned potential customers that the copycat versions simply couldn’t compete with the original.

According to this advertisement featured in The Carriage Monthly, as well as other examples I found on various internet archives, Pantasote boasts the following advantages: “Water-proof, grease-proof, stain-proof and germ-proof. Does not rot, peel or crack. Is not affected by heat or cold, and is not inflammable.” That’s quite a claim!


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