Thursday

Their Own Transit System

I’m still thinking about Bill Thornburg breaking in a horse so he could be transported in a more reliable way. During the animal powered transportation days, a certain amount of time had to be spent to get all the bugs ironed out. After break-in was accomplished, the live horse-power part of these vehicles grew in value. Nowadays, a modern combustion motor vehicle depreciates as soon as the rig is driven away from the car dealer. 

In the horse and buggy days not everyone living in town could own their own transit system. It was next to impossible for the average city family to have space enough to accomodate the necessary equipment. Each residential lot would have had to have room for a stack of hay, a manure pile, and a stable to hold the driving team, plus a proper shed to store the carriage in. 

Of course if you were among the rich and the spoiled living in a large city, it was a different story. Spokane’s early day, classy people that had plenty of estate, built their stables to match their mansions in design. Driving teams had to come up with certain qualifications, including the color of the horse’s hide and body build. 

Take for instance, old man Glover, the father of Spokane. His oversized family house was, and still is a massive pile of stones, cement, and lots of heavy wood that was used to frame out large hollow like rooms. Bigness really takes away that homey feeling. The bulky combination barn and stables are all gone now, but the horse and coach path still circles the mansion’s portico and loading dock - a reminder of the days of splendor and, of coachmen. The mansion is now being used as a church educational unit and is on the state historical register. 

"Those Horse and Buggy Days" Kik-Backs, p. 99




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