Summer Winds Down for Black Swamp Driving Club

October 2015 BSDC Newsletter

by Mary Thomas


Beautiful summer weather greeted Black Swamp Driving Club members as they met Aug. 8 at the Gillfillans’ cottage on Indian Lake.  Two morning boat rides around the lake took the place of the usual carriage driving prior to a wonderful lunch.  Twenty-two members attended the social event and most checked out the flea market just down the road.

A really fun day was enjoyed by BSDC members attending the Ungar Park drive, near Bucyrus, Aug. 22.  Peggy Graham, Mary Elliott, Linda Spears, Sandy and Larry Young sponsored the day, grilled burgers and brats, provided tables, and set up a canopy for the noon potluck.  Ungar Park has two miles of mowed trails along the Sandusky River suitable for carriages, and a four mile route around county roads was also available for driving.
At the drive, Roger Murray showed a breakaway set of carriage shafts.  He asked for ideas on just how they were supposed to safely work.  The shafts have a set of pull-out rings, several pulleys, and light rope that should release the shafts from the vehicle in case of a runaway horse (in theory—but in  practice?)  Since no patents were ever issued, perhaps this invention died a quick death.

A brief board meeting was held at Ungar Park to discuss plans for the annual banquet scheduled for November.  Ideas for decorating and door prizes were given, and it was decided to have some items put into a silent auction while bigger donations would be done as a live auction.  A date still needs to be set for the event at the church in Arlington, OH.

Many BSDC members will be heading for the Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, KY, Oct. 6-ll for the eleventh edition of the National Drive.  The six day event is the largest gathering of recreational carriage drivers in the country, featuring trails to drive, vendors with all things driving related, clinics with top instructors, lessons, parties, driving games, and of course carriage dogs.

Oct. 25 has been chosen for Mary Elliott and Linda Spears’ annual hay ride at their farm, Galion, OH.  Elliott’s Percheron pair will provide the power for the pre-Halloween drive.  Check www.blackswampdrivingclub.com for more information.

Longtime BSDC member and board member Tom Shapler, Bowling Green, OH, passed away in June.  He is survived by his wife Joanne and daughter Valerie.  He drove a Percheron to a surrey-topped wagonette, participating in many club events.  He is remembered as being so friendly and welcoming to newcomers to BSDC and to driving in general.  He was also an expert wood carver.