November 2014 BSDC Newsletter:

The annual Coon Hunter's drive near Tiffin was well attended by both Black Swamp Driving Club and Western Reserve Carriage Association.  The fabulous fall weather made for a picturesque drive along the Sandusky River Valley for the seven turnouts.  Ann and Polly Petersen from near Cleveland, brought a Welch cob and cart.   Will Stevenson, along with his grand nephews, from Ft. Wayne gave rides in his new cut under auto surrey recently acquired from members, Cliff and Alice Crabs.  Both are charter members of BSDC.  Other first timers were Dexter and Carol Milhoan, from Wooster who also brought a Welch cob and a four wheel competition vehicle.

Two year old Melanie Owen, our youngest member had her first carriage ride.  Parents Matt & Doris, grandparents Dale and Molly had their hands full trying to get her back on the ground.  With carriage driving being dominated by seniors it's great to have the younger set attend.
The year is winding down and we still have some great driving days left.   The annual banquet is always well attended and we hope you can make it to this potluck and reminisce about this years drives. It will be held at the Good Hope Lutheran Church, 300 S Main Street, Arlington, OH.   Social hour at 5:00 with the potluck to follow at 6:00.   Remember to bring an item for the auction which is a big fund raiser for the club.
On December 13th we’ll have Christmas on the farm in Kenton, OH.  More information to follow.
This month we’d like to introduce you to one of our charter members Will Stevenson.  He began his introduction to horses because his Uncle had horses.  Will’s Uncle, Aaron Kelson, would drive the horse and wagon around the streets of Ft. Wayne picking up and disposing of ash and clinkers from coal fired furnaces.  When his uncle was getting too old to do it Will started driving the route himself when he was only 16 and did this for several years. 
You aren’t expecting to see horses in the middle of Ft. Wayne but Will has a well kept little stable right across the street from his house in the city.   He added to it when a house came up for sale next to the stable.  He bought the house and tore it down.   Now it’s a grassy little pasture for his horses.  Since the stables been there for generations and he keeps it looking so nice he was been allowed to keep his horses in the city all these years. Will got his first registered Morgan more then thirty years ago from Mrs. Andrews of Tiffin Morgans and that horse is still alive today.  Will started his own carriage business in the 1980’s.  Today Will gives carriage rides in downtown Ft. Wayne along with weddings, hayrides, funerals and birthday parties.  Will now owns three beautiful registered Morgans that he usually drives as a pair but sometimes hitches all 3 abreast.  His vehicle collection includes carts, Vis- a- Vis, one seater buggy, Ladies Phaeton, Auto Top surrey, Russian sleigh and Pioneer hitch wagon. Will has driven the Indy 500 Parade five times, Chicago Christmas Parade four times, Lebanon Christmas Parade, New Year’s Day gathering for 10 years and so many other places. Will trained horses for Gretchen Andrews, a charter member who hosted one of the first BSDC drives the very first year of the clubs existence.  Will says his favorite place to drive is, “anywhere is a good place to drive when you get home safe in one piece”. In his spare time Will enjoys playing the saxophone and singing in the choir at church.   Will married his high school sweetheart Shirley, and they have three children, eight grandchildren and one great grandchild.   After working five years at Magnavox, fourteen years for International Harvester and now retired from twenty-five years from the Parks Dept. Will has all the time he wants to enjoy his family and horses.  If you’d like a carriage ride in downtown Ft. Wayne give Rockaway Carriages a call.
If you’d like to get started with your own horse join us for a meeting, we’d love to have you get to know sour members in person.  We are a pleasure driving club that enjoys a great potluck and pleasure drives through the country side.