March 2001 Newsletter

By Fred Thompson

   Hello everyone.  Well here we are getting ready to face those old harsh March winds once again.  Never fear, there is only a couple more weeks of winter left according to that chubby ol' Groundhog in Pennsylvania.  Believe me, with as many groundhog hunters there are around, I wouldn't want to give too many false forecast. 

  While we wait for the weather to get a little nicer, this would be a good time to do some pre-driving inspecting of our equipment.  What's that, you forgot to clean your harness last fall.  Well what are we waiting for?  Let's pull that baby off the hook, tear it apart and clean it up.  I remember the first time I tore my harness apart to clean it. I really wondered if I would get it all back together, and if I did, would it still look like a harness.  While you're at it, look it over
real good and see if anything needs repaired.   Leather may have the outward appearance of being OK, but if you bend it and it cracks, it's time to replace it.  There is no need to start out the driving season with something that is questionable.

  February 11th brought nice weather and a good turnout for our monthly meeting with approx. 30 people attending.  President Joe Bell opened the meeting by welcoming everyone and then turning the floor over to Andrea Gadomski.  Andrea is a member of the Ohio Horseman's Council and is working with the area horse clubs to get more trails open in the State Parks for horses.  Suggested getting involved with the Rails and Trails.  Andrea said that the Litzenburger park and River Bend park now have riding trails but you have to get permission first so not to tear up the paths if it happens to be too wet.  Even though there are more trails opening up for horses many are not suitable for horse drawn vehicles.  I will have to apologies to Andrea for the lack of details, but will suggest that if you are interested in getting involved in Rails and Trails or would like more information on places to ride or drive on state land call Andrea.  Andrea Gadomski at (419) 273-7009 or e-mail her at

   The next business brought up was the safety-driving clinic.  The clinic will be held on April 1st between 1 and whenever.  The location is at Fetters Farm ( A large set of brown buildings). Directions: From I-75 go east on Rt. 309 about 6.5 miles and farm is on right. From the East: Rt. 309 going west, go through Maysville. (just a few houses) proceed west, about 3-4 miles you will see Stite's Grocery on your left then a trucking company and the Fetter farm will be about mile farther on the left. Can phone 419-348-4737 day of clinic if lost.

   Gary Gillfillan and Roger Murray will be co-chairpersons for this event.  If you would like to help or have any suggestion please get in contact with Gary or Roger.

  We will once again have a safety inspection for all drives this year. The safety committee will consist of the past presidents.  The inspection will be on a voluntary basis.

   Sandy Young can still get Black Swamp nametags for $3.00.  If anyone is interested in purchasing one Call Sandy at (419) 562-4712

   The next item on the list was the Annual Banquet and Meeting.  Gary Gillfillan had more details on prices and accommodation.  After hearing the detail Joe Bell asked for a show of hand to have our annual banquet at Henry's in Kenton.  It passed.  The Banquet will be held on November 17.  The doors will open at 5:00, meal will be served at 6:00 and the meeting will be at 7:00.  The buffet will be $10.83 with drinks, tax and gratuity included.  Dessert is extra but available.  The club will furnish the relish tray and the cheese ball and crackers.  Just like last year, reservations will have to be sent in so Henry's will know how much to fix. I don't think any of us wants then to run out of food.  If there is any changes or corrections, I will post it in later issues.

  Our March meeting will be held at the Trinity Lutheran Church on W. Bigelow in Findlay, Oh.  It will be on March 11th between 2pm and 4pm. Directions:  From 224, go west over I-75 to the first light which is Northridge Rd. (Cracker barrel Restaurant is on the corner), turn right and go to the end.  The church will be on your right.  Please bring snacks to share and coffee and punch will be provided


Howdy everybody! This is Larry and Sandy Young telling you about themselves     in this issue. Larry is the quiet one and didn't want to do this but Sandy took it on herself to finally satisfy our reporter who had been bugging for a profile. Hope we're not too boring to you. Our life however is never boring to us. It seems there is always plenty to do even though we're both retired. Yes, retired and loving it. Now enjoying the best jobs we have ever had! Larry worked at the Timken Company a little over 33 years and retired as a supervisor there, supervising Sandy who put in 30 years there, also, as a cone inspector. Married in August of 1998, Larry says the horse and buggies went with the package. He never had an interest in horses or the such until Sandy got him into it. The collection of buggies, sleighs, etc. they have was
started about 40 years ago by Sandy's deceased first husband, Donn, and his Dad, C.R. Knowlton who when  in better health accompanied her to the BSDC functions. The last piece added to their collection is pictured and is the drop front phaeton bought at one of the Martin Sales in Pennsylvania in 1999. We fell in love with this one and this is what you
see us driving at most of the drives we attend.

This winter a favorite thing to do may be going out for a sleigh ride with our 23 year old Appaloosa gelding, Sunny. This has been a good year for making use of the sleighs, which often can not be enjoyed, when there is not much snow. Sunny is our only horse at this time. We raised him as a colt and he is retired from the show circuit having been
National Appaloosa Barrel Champion in 1986. We would like to find a POA to use with some of our other buggies that are pony and cob size. We have some wicker pieces, which are favorites also, two traps, a wagon, a bobsled, and some breaking carts.

Our family consists and four sons and a daughter. Sandy's two boys are both farriers and live in New York and Texas. Grandkids, Kristy and Jonn are often seen at some of our drives. Larry's two boys and daughter enjoy coming around the farm with the five grandkids to enjoy the outdoors and feed Sunny treats.


March 1         Marilyn Rasey
March 2         Janet Burghardt
March 3         Wayne Leightey
March 6         Chester Boice
March 11        Diana Darbyshire
March 13        Sarah Yaney
March 16        Denise Ruffing
March 21        Cam Boice
March 21        Pat Kimura
March 21        Pierce Courchaine
March 22        Nancy Smith
March 22        Sheryl Knight
March 26        Daryl Zehlney
April 4            Katie Crossman
April 5            Walker, Randy
April 8            Renee Franz
April 8            Robert Ratcliff
April 16          Carl Englehart
April 17          Ann Leightey
April 19          Cheryl Evans
April 19          Harvey Fairchild
April 24          Dennis Wixey
April 26          Loretta Gschwind
April 30          Kim Anderson

Upcoming Events:

*March 11..     Meeting at Trinity Lutheran Church in Findlay
  March 6-9 ... Draft Horse Sale  at Mt. Hope
  March 13-16.. Topeka Draft Horse Sale
  April 5-8...  Equine Affair at Columbus, Ohio
*April 22...    Drive at Swanton hosted by the Walkers          
*May 6....      Drive at Spencerville hosted by the Fairchilds
*May 20.....    Drive at Van Buren State Park hosted by the Hohenbrinks
   June 1-3.... Kentucky Horse Park    
*August 26....  Drive at Sandy Young
*September 9... Drive at Oak Opening hosted by the Shapler
*October 13-14 ..       Cornhusker at Upper Sandusky hosted by the

* Denotes a BSDC sponsored event

Black Swamp Driving Club