1995 BSDC Officers


President, Roger Murray

Vice-President, John Hunter

Treasurer, Mark Newman

Secretary/Reporter/Membership, Angie Hohenbrink

Directors, Roger Higgins, John Begg, Roger Murray, John Hunter, Mark Newman, Gary Gillfillan, Angie Hohenbrink


January 1995 Newsletter:

By Angie Hohenbrink

Start the New Year out right by making it our New Year’s resolution to get the award for attending the most meetings.  Our first meeting of the year will be at 2 p.m. on January 22, 1995 at Trinity Lutheran Church which is located at 935 West Bigelow, Findlay, Ohio.  Directions are as follows: take I-75 to Routes 15 and 224 exit (Exit 159) and go Eact 1 block to stoplight.  Turn left onto Broad Street and go about ¾ mile until the road curves to the right and turn left onto Bigelow and cross over I-75.  The church will be ¼ mile down the road and on the left.  There will be gift certificate from Omaha Vaccine’s catalog given away as a door prize.  We will finish planning our drives for 95 and watch some films.  If you haven’t already sent in your dues, there should be a form available in this issue of The Corral.

Anyone interested in driving is welcome to join us at any of our meetings.  It doesn’t matter if you own a driving horse or are just thinking about getting started,  I think you’ll enjoy our club.

If you are starting your vacation plans for this year, you might want to consider a couple of special upcoming events.   On May 31 thru June 3, the Carriage Association of America will be having their annual conference at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky.  These conferences are among the best.  If you can’t bring your horse, just come and watch, you won’t be disappointed.  They have a restoration contest where the judges will tell what could be improved on each car4riage.  It is very informative if you are thinking about restoring one yourself.  They also have seminars on many related topics.  There are miles of roads in the Kentucky Horse Park to drive at your leisure.  You can also tour the Museum that is one of the best of its kind.

In September, take your horse on a ferry ride over to Mackinaw Island.  We’re invited to join the Michigan Horsedrawn Vehicle Association on the annual drive at Mackinaw Island.  Everyone that has been to that drive says it’s well worth the trip up there.

Several Members have volunteered to host drives again, so it should be a year with miles of good driving.

Hope for snow in February to get ready for sleigh riding, if we get the snow we hope for, we’ll have a sleigh riding meet.  We’ll use a phone tree to call everyone.

I’ll see you at the meeting in January.


February 1995 Newsletter  


Despite the warm weather we have been having, there have been a few days that you could have been driving in the snow.  Although the weather has been favoring mud, we hope that turns around in time for us to get together for sleigh riding this month.  You better get a driving before the flies come back and annoy both horse and driver.

The long winter evenings are great for cleaning harness.  Be sure and check for broken keepers, cut straps, cracked leather, broken stitching and worn buckles.  Getting it fixed sure beats having something break when you driving.

The long winter evenings are great for cleaning harness.  Be sure and check for broken keepers, cut straps, cracked leather, broken stitching and worn buckles.  Getting it fixed sure beats having something break when you’re driving.

Are you looking for a carriage to use this year?  There are a few carriage auctions coming up this spring.  It’s always interesting to look and you almost always find other Black Swamp members there.  If you’d like to join the fun there is the Mid-Ohio carriage sale at Mt. Hope, Ohio on Thursday March 9 starting at 9 a.m.  Also a month later on April 20, 21 and 22 there is the Topeka, Indiana Carriage Auction.

There will be plenty of drives to choose from this year.  If you haven’t paid you dues yet, be sure and send them to me, so you can continue receiving the Corral.  The directions to each drive should be in the Corral each month.


March 1995

(Missing March)


April 1995 Newsletter


It’s starting to look like spring again.  I gave my beast their first bath this year and they’re starting to look like respectable horses again.  Oh, how I envy those that don’t have pastures with muddy clay.

Marrch 9 was cold in Mt. Hope with a little bit of snow, but that didn’t keep people from the Carriage Auction.  I went down with Jay and Donna Bornt, and one of our new members Marcia Bearley.  While we were looking around, we ran into other Black Swamp members, including John and Sara Hunter, Roger and Sue Murrey, Gary and Connie Gillifillan, Peggy Graham, and Bob Voska.  It was cozy and warm inside as the carriages went through the auction.   There was a draft horse auction there the next day and the barn was full of draft horses.  It was interesting to see the Amish come in with their well trained draft horses.  We watched a pair of well matched bays back up to the loading dock where they loaded a cow, shut their tailgate, and headed for their farm.  Oh, how I wish my horse would back that well.

We have about a month to get our horses ready for the drive in Lexington.  The Kentucky Horse Park has many roads to drive on and  the scenery is hard to beat.  If you haven’t made it down there for a drive yet, do try and make it this year.

May 1995 Newsletter


Is’ May and time for the 3rd Annual Carriage Roundup on May 5, 6, and 7th at the Kentucky Horse Park.  You can drive at your own leisure throughout the park.  Take along a dish to pass around at the tailgate picnic on Saturday and come on down to join us.  After the picnic, there will be an organized drive and scavenger hunt.  In the evening there is a Chili Supper ($3), bring a dessert to share and lawn chairs.  On Sunday, you can drive at your own leisure, and in the afternoon they’ll have games.

On May 21 we will have a drive, which will be graciously sponsored by the Fairchild’s in Spencerville, Indiana.  Everyone I talked to last year said this was one of the most scenic drives that our club has ever had.  Directions:  Go to Hicksville, Ohio; at the south end of the business district (A little Caesar’s Pizza is there)  take Spencerville Road out of Hicksvile, when it crosses into Indiana it becomes County Road 64.  Go to Indiana State Route 1, turn left into Spencerville, there is a restaurant on the corner.  Turn right and the community building is on the North side of the street.

May 31-June 3 is the Carriage Association of America’s Annual Conference in Lexington at the Kentucky Horse Park.  This gives us a second chance to go down there in one year.  To participate in their activities, membership in the CAA is required, but admission to the Kentucky Horse Park will get you into the arena to see the show and trade fair.  On Thursday there is a Restoration Competition.  In the afternoon, they have the restoration results and commentary on each vehicle.  If you are interested in restoring carriages you won’t want to miss this.  For CAA members, there is a breakfast at Kneeland Race Track o Friday while you watch the morning workouts at the track.  They will also have private tours of the Kentucky Horse Park Museum and Carriage Collection.

In the afternoon, there will be a pleasure drive to Walnut Hall Farm.  On Saturday morning, there is an ETA Cross-Country Marathon and Pleasure Driving classes and cones, in the afternoon; there will be an Observation Marathon.  Driving lessons will be offered, and there will also be lectures and demonstrations.


June 1995 Newsletter


The drive at the Kentucky Horse Park was over all to soon.  The weather couldn’t have been better.  Where else can you go and drive down a lane next to a world class outdoor course and pass pastures full of mares and foals, while a skunk, which was crossing a road, was at his best behavior.  It let us pass without incident.

At the picnic, Black Swamp won most original with a shotgun wedding.  Susan and Roger Murray were made the bride and groom.   Their newly restored surrey was decorated with balloons and the table was set complete with a wedding cake.

On Sunday, we had the opportunity to both drive and look for unusual scenery as we had a scavenger hunt.  There was a typewriter setting on a fence, stuffed animals, boots upside down sticking out of the water, a lamp next to the road, etc, even though they weren’t the common things you’d see, it was hard to find all 49 of them.

Hopefully the weather will be equally as good for Fairchild’s drive, which will be over by the time you read this article.

At this time, there aren’t any drives scheduled for June.  But there will be a carriage auction at Topeka, Indiana on June 15 and 16th.  But keep in mind the drive at Sauder’s on July 15.  At Sauder’s they like it when the carriage participants dress in period costumes, this gives everyone a chance to dress up and step back into the last century.  Also in July, the club has been invited to participate in Gene Autry days at the fairgrounds in Kenton on the 16 of July.  Did you know that Gene Autry toys were manufactured here in Kenton, Ohio by Kenton Toy Manufacturer?  You’re invited to bring vehicles to put on display and you can also drive around the fairgrounds.  Western dress is encouraged.  More details of this event will be furnished in next months issue.


July 1995 Newsletter

The CAA Conference in Lexington was great, although a little wet.  Black Swamp was very well represented.  Gary and Connie Gilfillian were there just in time to help everyone unload.  Bob Voska had his golf cart and was ready to get anything from the trailers that were needed.  After unloading my wagonette from the trailer, Donna Bornt was going to help with touching up any scratched paint before the restoration contest.  That’s when we discovered I brought along the wrong paint!  Thank God for hoof black, at least it helped a few scratches look a little better.

Henry zumFelde took home some ribbons in the driving classes.  He had his horse hitched to the gentleman’s phaeton that he had built himself.  Roger and Susan Murray entered their Irish tub cart in the tailgate judging.  This was elegantly done with flowers, Irish drinks, and snacks.   Susan wanted everyone to know that they could do a serious tailgate party even after the ribbing she took from the one just a few weeks earlier.  (If you missed that one, there should be some pictures floating around at some of the other drives; you have to see it to get the full picture.

The roads in the Kentucky Horse Park are ideal for driving.  If you haven’t had a chance to go and would like to, just call the park.  You can rent stalls about anytime for a vacation and drive around at your leisure.  The campground is only a mile walk or you can stay at one of the motels.  Or wait until next year and hopefully the driving clubs will have a drive there again.

We will be having two drives in July.  The parade at Sauder’s Farm and Craft Village Carriage Days is on July 15.  If you haven’t been to Sauder’s before, it is on State Route 2 close to the intersection of SR 2 and SR 66 just northeast of Archbold.  There will be a drive following the parade.  This is a place you can wear your vintage clothing.  If you were planning on driving in the parade, Henry would like the information on your turnout for the announcer.

We have also been invited to Gene Autry Day’s in Kenton on Sunday July 16.  This will be at the Hardin County Fairgrounds in Kenton from 10 to 5 p.m.  We will have a cook out by the covered wagon.  Please bring a dish to pass around.  They would like us to display our vehicles and we can also drive around the fairgrounds.  So get your western clothes and your Gene Autry cap guns.  (I wish I had one, I hear Gene Autry cap pistols are worth a few hundreds dollars) and head on down to Kenton.  Hope to see you at both drives.


August 1995 Newsletter


Due to the extremely high temperatures, the Sauders carriage parade was cancelled.  Remember to be very cautious working horses when the temperatures and humidity are high.  Heat stroke can be very dangerous, possibility for both man and beast in hot weather.

On July 16 we had a cookout at Roger Higgin’s covered wagon at Gene Autry Days in Kenton, Ohio.  Gillfillian’s found some big shade trees to set up the cookout under.  It was very pleasant there.  There3 were vehicles put on display and four members brought their animals to drive and around 30 people were there to eat the delicious food that Black Swamp is famous for.

On August 13, John Begg is going to host a drive.  We will send out a mailing with the location and other information.

On August 27, we will have a drive at sandy Knowlton’s Triangle K Ranch close to Bucyrus, Ohio.  At 1:00 p.m., there will be a potluck dinner with a drive and scavenger hunt to follow.  There is a pond there and you are encouraged to bring fishing poles and swimsuits.

Also on August 27, Jim Westerhold is having a drive starting at Shady Recreation Park in New London, Ohio, through the scenic, historic Firelands Rural Area.  There will be a free lunch with the drive starting at 1:00 p.m.  More information will be in our mailing.


September 1995 Newsletter


Even on these dog-days of summer. John Begg’s drive went on as scheduled.  Parking for trailers was ample at the Smith’s and their big shade trees helped to keep us sheltered from the heat.  A drive was taken to the Mennonite home, where their residents got a good glimpse of the horses.  Anyone there wanting a ride was given the treat of riding on the wagon pulled by a pair of Belgians.  We had 5 turnouts and 4 saddle horse that made the trip there and back to the farm.

Cooler days should come soon, hopefully for the drive at Knowlton’s and also the one at Jim Westerhold’s  (They should be memories by the time you read this.)

On September 17 at 1 p.m. Bob Voska will help host a drive at Dan and Ginny Secrist’s Farm, Fremont, Ohio.  Ginny will be roasting a lamb, so just bring a dish to pass.  Beverages will also be provided 

Hardin Heritage Days at Kenton, Ohio, will be the weekend of September 23 and 24.  At 2 p.m. each day, we will have a parade of carriages, Period dress is encouraged for the parade.  We will have a potluck supper on Saturday evening beginning promptly at 6 p.m.  An auction of your donated horse-related items will follow the potluck.

There will be camping and boarding as usual in the 4-H Horse barn at the Hardin County Fairgrounds for horses and carriages.  Owners of antique carriages are encouraged to bring them along for display.

Any members that haven’t been to other drives are encouraged to bring their horses.  Some of the members have offered to help anyone who may need assistance.  We will be able to drive around the fairgrounds.  It will be a good time for horses and drivers that want to start driving their horses on the drives and the other turnouts to get experience.

At Corn Husker Days in October, Shirley Wolf from Stitches in Time will put on a fashion show of vintage clothing.  We need information on your carriages for the show.  To have vintage clothing match your vehicle, we need the year the carriage was built (or time frame when it was popular, type of carriage, some information on the horse pulling the carriage (breed, etc.), and the owner’s name.  Please send that information to Donna Bornt, 201 East Lincoln Highway, Elida, Ohio 45807-9582 or phone her at 419/641-4595.  Sent that ASAP since some time is needed to plan everything.


October 1995 Newsletter


Be sure and join us for our last drive this fall at Corn Huskers Days, held at the Wyandot County Fairgrounds in Upper Sandusky, Ohio on October 14 and 15.  You can camp at the fairgrounds on Friday and Saturday night.  Electric and water hook-ups are available at $7 per night.  The motels in the area are the Comfort Inn 419/294-3891 and the Amerihost 419/294-3919.  Housing for horses and vehicles will be provided in the 4-H horse barn.  Lunch will be available on the grounds.  At 1 p.m. in the dining hall, Shirley Wolf from Stitches in Time will have a fashion show of vintage clothing for carriage driving.  She’ll try and associate the clothes with the carriage.  After the show you may drive at your leisure.  There3 will also be an obstacle course.  We will make Mulligan Stew on Saturday night so bring raw vegetables and tomato juice to ad to the pot.  Please bring a dish to pass around.  You may want to bring lawn chairs.  On Sunday morning, a church service will be held at 8 a.m.  Then you may drive at your leisure.

 Be sure and keep Saturday, November 4, open to attend our year-end meeting and banquet at the Woodland Restaurant, across from the courthouse in Findlay.  We will order off of the menu.


November 1995 Newsletter


You are invited to come and join us on Saturday, November 4, 1995 for our banquet and annual meeting.  It will be at the Woodland Restaurant in Findlay, Ohio.  The restaurant is across from the courthouse on Main Street in Findlay.  We will order off of the menu, so you have the option of having a complete dinner or just a sandwich.  Social hour starts at 5 p.m. with dinner promptly following at 6 p.m.  If you have a friend that is interested in the horsy days of old, bring them with you.  Howard Smith, a noted historian, will be giving us a little history about the horse and buggy in the olden days.  If you’d like to donate anything for the auction after the meeting, just bring it along with you.  Come prepared to have a good time and reminisce about the past year.  We’d love to see Black Swamp members from previous years and also welcome anyone interested in joining next year to come.

On October 14, there were over 30 people on Saturday night for the Mulligan Stew at Corn Husker Days in Upper Sandusky.  Halloween is over, but if you didn’t come there you missed seeing the boogie man.  There was a bay horse put to a John Deer wagon covered with pumpkin lights roaming the fairgrounds after dark.  Following it was someone driving a mini Appaloosa stallion with blinking lights on its head and pumpkin lights around its neck, and a little boogie person with blinking skulls on his head sitting on the cart.  Mary Elliott and Peggy Graham were missing from our group while the caramel corn was being made over the camp fire, but we won’t draw any premature conclusions on who may have been responsible for the spooking that occurred.

If anyone has any ideas for drives next year or wants to host a drive for 1996, bring it up at the annual meeting so we can start arranging the calendar for next year.


December 1995 Newsletter


On the 4th of November we put the waiter and waitress at the Woodland Restaurant to work scrambling to get chairs to seat everyone and taking everyone’s order at our Annual Banquet.  There were around 62 people present.  Roger Murrey gave some highlights of the year’s happenings with special recognition to everyone that helped sponsor drives and other activities.

We had an auction offering a small but varied list of items from foal birth announcements to ostrich steaks.  A door prize drawing of two beautiful sets of towels with the club logo embroidered on them was given away to two lucky people.  Our annual election of board members was also held for two expired three year terms and also the one year term.  Joe Bell and Angie Hohenbrink were elected for a three year term and Peggy Graham for the one year term.

At our annual banquet our speaker,  Howard Smith, gave us a glimpse of why snow and sleigh riding were so popular long ago.  As you are driving your car down our nice paved roads, you forget that at one time the roads were muddy and sometimes impassable in the fall with the big ruts frozen in the winter.  Only a big snowfall would cover them and make them passable in winter.  This freed everyone up to bring their goods to town and visit friends.  It explains some of the reason’s that there are a variety of sleighs of various shapes and sizes.

If Howard got you in the mood for sleigh riding this Christmas season,  there are a few safety tips you should consider.  Check you equipment for soundness, safety and fit and make sure everything is properly adjusted to fit your horse.  Shoe appropriately before you start to help your horse keep his footing.


Remember that a sleigh can be much more difficult for a horse to pull than a two wheel vehicle, so proceed shlowly if your horse isn’t accustomed to it.  Difficulty in pulling may vary greatly from one place to another, it may also sound different if you hit some uncovered blacktop or grabel and turning can be tough if the snow is deep at all.  Be considerate and proceed with caution and have a save Christmas.


There will be a board of director’s meeting, with both the incoming and outgoing board members, at Gary Gillfillan’s on December 10 at 2 p.m.  If anyone has any news or concerns that they’d like brought to the boards attention, please contact one of them.



Events in 1995


May 5-6-7: Carriage Roundup - KHP

May 21:   Fairchild’s drive, Spencerville, IN

May 31- June 3: CAA Conference, KHP, Lexington, KY (For CAA members)

June 15-16: Topeka Carriage Auction, Topeka, IN

July 15: Sauders Carriage Days, Archbold, OH

July 16: Gene Autry Days, Kenton, OH

August 13: John Begg’s Drive

August 27: Elliot’s Drive

September 17: Bob Voska’s & Ginny Secrist Drive, Fremont, OH

September 23-24: Heritage Days, Kenton, OH

October 13-15: Corn Husker Days, Upper Sandusky

November 4, 1995: Annual Banquet, Woodland Restaurant, Findlay, OH