Alberta family auction more than 2 dozen horse-drawn carriages and sleds

Sleds and horse-drawn carriages will be auctioned as part of a collector’s estate sale in Penhold, Alta. (Prairie Auctions – image credit)

An auction in Calgary starting on Saturday will feature a variety of rare items that were part of the history of Canada’s early transportation.

A collection of 27 horse-drawn carriages and sleds will be auctioned off as part of the estate sale of Lee Bowie, a collector from Penhold, Alta., 120 kilometers north of Calgary.

Her daughter, Kim Bowie, says her father collected sleighs and horse-drawn carriages for more than five decades, and some date back to the late 1800s.

“Dad always loved horses, all animals actually, but he was interested in horse-drawn vehicles. He started buying old ones that someone had stored behind their barn and repairing them and bringing them back to their original glory, ”she said. Told The stretch.

From there, her father created a rare collection of vehicles in incredible condition, she says.

“He built a building for them and they were always stored inside,” she said. “We’ll usually have family reunions to tweak them every two years, dust them off.”

She adds that the cars were predecessors to the auto industry, so each has some interesting innovations attached to it.

“These were the original cars,” she said. “And a lot of car makers have gotten into the auto industry.”

For example, one of the cars for sale is an original McLaughlin car. The company was the largest manufacturer of horse-drawn strollers and sleds in the British Empire.

The company then moved into the automotive industry and became McLaughlin Motor Car Company, then General Motors of Canada.

The one Bowie’s dad bought is what she calls an “open horse sleigh.”

In the photo above, an original McLaughlin cutter from McLaughlin Carriage Co., produced in 1869. Kim Bowie says the cutter was the racing car of its day.

In the photo above, an original McLaughlin cutter from McLaughlin Carriage Co., produced in 1869. Kim Bowie says the cutter was the racing car of its day. (Prairie Auction)

“There is a padded seat in it,” she said. “Such a Christmas. And the one daddy has is one of the originals. It was built in 1869.”

Another vehicle for sale is a Newfoundland Taxi Sleigh, which was built in 1890 in St. John’s, she said.

“It kind of looks like a sofa on wheels,” she said. “They were only used in this province, and very few of them have survived.

She says strollers can range from $ 300 to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on their rarity.

Growing up, she says, they used cars for all kinds of things, like sleigh rides and wagon rides.

“Mom and dad used to go for walks on the country roads around their homes. All the neighbors thought he was a great romantic,” she said.

While the family will need to auction the pieces, Bowie says it will be a good feeling to know that they will go to people interested in preserving history.

“I think (my dad) would have liked his collection to stay together and go to a collector who could run the house and look after the whole thing,” she said.

You can consult the family collection online. The auction will take place from June 12 to 21.

With files from The stretch.

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