Black Swamp Driving Club October 2004 Newsletter


Autumn is upon us.  Cooler days and chilly nights bring out the sweaters and thicker blankets.  Who does not look forward all year to hot fresh apple cider and pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream?  All the beauty and splendor of autumn surrounds us as we take time out of our busy lives to drive our horses through interesting places. Speaking of interesting places, we have just two scheduled events in October so do not miss them!  Time is fleeting; take time to enjoy the simple pleasures in life: friends, family and of course, driving our horses.

The Sauder Village Drive hosted by Henry ZumFelde was just perfect.  We had a modest showing of just ten turnouts.  We started in the early afternoon with a parade through the park.  The “streets” of the village were lined with expectant onlookers.  They were excited to see all of the different styles of vehicles and horses. Henry led the way with his beautiful custom- made vehicle.  We each wrote a description about our turnout.  The horse, vehicle and all riders were described in varying detail.  A lady from the park read each description as we pulled in to the park and paused for a moment in front of the crowd.  I distinctly heard lots of “ooos and ahhs” from the expectant onlookers.   It was quite thrilling, as I was a first-timer.  I have to say that I did my own share of congratulating people on their attire and turnouts.  Everyone who came looked just marvelous.  Once we all made it through the park, we headed out on to the road towards the covered bridge at Lockport. 

The covered bridge was quite a sight!  The original wooden bridge was built on the site way back in 1919, but after 75 years of use, the inspecting engineers found it to be unsafe for travel.  Plans were put into action to replace it with a steel bridge, as had happened with most of the other 227 original covered bridges in the state of Ohio. However, a small, but determined group of historians went to the Williams County Engineer, Walter Schelling to see if the bridge could be replaced with a wooden structure. The historians, including Mr. and Mrs. Cal Short, Walter Stuckey, and others were confronted by many hurdles including size, load carrying capacity and cost.  Eventually, the Ohio Governor George Voinovich came to Toledo to present the Williams County Engineer, commissioners, and residents with a check to fund the building of the Lockport Covered Bridge. The bridge is now three times wider than it was originally. With the exception of the concrete abutments and piers and some steel tension ties, the bridge is completely made from wood.  The bridge opened in June 1999 at a final cost of  $1.7 million. (Information taken from Look for pictures of the drive next month.  I am sure they will be great.  Henry was generous enough to hire a professional photographer to get all of us coming through the bridge.  See him if you are interested in getting a copy for yourself! The bridge was our turn around point.  We then made our way back to Sauder Village via along the Tiffin River.  It was a very scenic drive through wooded areas and along the river.  All along our route, people came out of their homes to see us pass by.  Some of us made a speedy return; others took more of a leisurely pace. What a day; perfect weather, beautiful turnouts and a safe, fun drive.

The Murray drive happened too late in the month of September (26th) for me to report on this month, so let me just say – I’ll tell you about it next time!  I am sure of one thing; it will be fantastic seeing everyone there.

I hope many of you got this issue before the drive hosted by Julie Emmons and Roger Higgins, Jr. on October 3, 2004.  If not, I apologize.  It was an oversight on my part.  I should have had this in the last issue.  The directions to the drive are pretty simple.  Take SR 67 to twp. road 37 to twp. road 40.  Signs will be posted.  From SR 53 South to twp. road 29.  Home made vegetable and chili soup with crackers will be provided.  Please bring your own drink, table service, and a side dish.  Potluck is at 12:30, drive at 1:30.


The next scheduled drive in October is the annual Corn Huskers drive in Upper Sandusky, hosted by John and Sara Hunter.  The State Hand Corn Huskers Contest will be held October 9 &10, 2004 at the Wyandot County Fairgrounds, Upper Sandusky, Ohio.  You may arrive on Friday night, the 8th, if convenient.  Camping is available on the grounds with hook-ups for water and electricity.  There are several motels nearby – Comfort Inn (1-800-228-5150), Amerihost Inn (1-800-434-5800), and Day’s Motel (419-294-5161).

BSDC will have the vehicles displayed and horses will be stabled in the 4-H horse barn.  You may drive at your leisure throughout the fairgrounds.  Please note, there will be a cattle show on the grounds during this weekend.

 Saturday evening about 5:30pm, we will once again be making Mulligan stew in an iron kettle with meat furnished.  Please bring some veggies, etc. for the stew and another dish such as munchies or dessert if you wish.  Coffee and rolls will be provided each morning.

Food stands will be set up on the grounds the entire weekend as well as many craft booths.  Various activities, demonstrations, and contests will also be taking place for the enjoyment of all your family.  There will be a church service in the log cabin by the entrance to the fairgrounds at 8:00am.on Sunday and breakfast is served in the dining hall.

Now, just pray for continued good weather and we will be all set.  For more information, call John and Sara Hunter at 419-396-6746.  Hope to see you all there.

One final reminder, the annual banquet at the Schnipke Inn in Ottowa, Ohio will be November13, 2004.  Please get your reservations in to Peg Graham or Tom Shapler by October 30.  Hors d’oeuvres to be served at 5pm and dinner at 6pm.  An auction is also planned so bring something fun and interesting!

See you all soon.