Carriage relics and amusement rides

I’ve been following the posts at The Slower Road, a blog by the Carriage Association of America chronicling a trip of members who have been touring antique carriages all over Argentina.

The photos have reminded me how old carriages can appear in the most unlikely places, at the most unexpected times. I was just beginning research on my novel about a 19th century blacksmith and carriage maker, The Last of the Blacksmiths, when our family made a high school graduation trip with our daughter to Knott’s Berry Farm — for the amusement park rides, mind you.

But surprise, surprise, Mom got a kick out of it, too. And a leg up on my research. Knott’s Berry Farm’s Old West town and museum kept me happily preoccupied, along with the relics of old carriages everywhere I turned, mixed right in with the roller coaster rides. Even hearses, the irony of which was not lost on me as I waited in line to take the Rip Tide and the Supreme Scream.

Knott's Berry Farm wagon

Wagon interior
Enormous conestoga wagon
Conestoga wagon
Black hearse
White hearse
Wells Fargo wagon
Surrey
Youngstown fire engine from 1853

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