Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Remington Carriage Museum, Cardston, Alberta

Covered Wagon
While in Alberta last week, I visited the Remington Carriage Museum in Cardston with my dad and step-mom.  I can remember visiting once before when I was younger - I think my dad had some rubber put on a set of carriage wheels and he took me along to pick them up or drop them off.  He used to drive horses a lot and we had a little white carriage that we'd use in weddings to haul the bride and groom around.  I'm not that old - we had cars and trucks - but dad just liked using horses.  I'm not the first person in my family to put an anachronistic spin on their career.
Outside the Remington Carriage Museum

Don Remington, the man whose carriage collection the museum was built around.
"This hobby can drive you buggy!" Horse and buggy - get it?

Most of the carriages are in rough shape when they come into the collection.  This half-and-half buggy shows the starting condition on the left side and the restored condition on the right.

This Park Drag from London, England could carry 10 passengers and 2 grooms.

There are over 250 carriages in the collection, most of them restored and on display.

Hansom Cab - very Sherlock Holmesy

Seeing this old farm wagon brought back a lot of memories for my dad.  He seemed especially fond of the cruise control feature.  On the way home you could crawl in the wagon and sleep, while the horses plodded back to the farm. You'd know to wake up when the wagon stopped.  Did I mention "Rast" in German means "to rest"?

Touring the restoration shop was a highlight.  They work to restore carriages in the collection, but most of their work is commercial work for individuals with old buggies and wagons.

Blueprints from inside the Carriage Works recreated inside the museum.

A Piano Box Buggy like this would have shipped to the customer in a wooden crate like the one on the left.

This is the lead Bull Wagon from a wagon train.  This particular one was originally used on the Oregon Trail and ended its career hauling supplies between Fort Benton, Montan and Fort MacLeod, Alberta.  Notice the Borax boxes?  There's an illustration of a wagon train on every box of Borax.

Stage Coach.  Coaches like this were often owned by hotels.  They are the precursor of the airport shuttle van.
Sheep Wagon.  A mobile home for shepherds to stay in while tending the flocks.

Photo Credits: Tim Rast

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