Sunday, July 6, 2008

Horse & Carriage ride on Main Street

I was finishing a painting of the Web-Deane-Stevens museum in Old Wethersfield, Connecticut, settled in 1634, where George Washington met with Count de Rochambeau in preparation for the Battle of Yorktown in 1781.
The final element in the painting happened to be a horse and carriage traveling by the museum and so it was very exciting and timely to see it in real life as we were on our way to the shop, Antiques on Main. My wife Janice and I wanted to see if there were any more small bottles for her collection and also to drop off a few Country Registers. The horse and carriage ride, offered by The Allegra Farm of East Haddam, Connecticut, was right across the street from the museum. There was no waiting line for the carriage ride so after dropping off the Country Registers at the antique shop, we decided to go for a ride.
At the start of our ride, the coachman in colonial attire greeted us and the door was opened for us into another world. Our particular coach was called a "Brougham" named after Lord Brougham, (1778-1868) , an English statesman, and the restored interior was authentic with a beige velvet material, tufted and pleated as it had been originally. We were excited and happy to come upon this unexpected pleasure to get a traveling experience of looking out as others might have done two centuries ago at the beautiful old homes still standing today.
The Allegra Farm of East Haddam, an authentic "livery stable" for over two decades, provides carriage rides, sleighing party rides and even the experience of a western chuck wagon dinner ride. They travel all over New England and the Tr-State area for weddings, city and town events festivals, parades parties and film parts. Private carriage rides and hay rides may be enjoyed from the farm any season or at your favorite location.

The elegant team of horses were happy and relaxed plodding along at a slow pace, a far cry from their previous life as racing horses. The ride lasted about fifteen minutes but brought to one's mind and imagination another slower pace in time. The ride was pleasant and cozy hearing the carriage creaking and the clip clopping of our two former old race horses going down Main Street.

So if you are visiting Old Wethersfield and you have a few extra minutes on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon this summer, take some leisurely time for yourself and take an enjoyable horse drawn carriage ride for just $5.00 per adult. I wonder how many of our vehicles of today will give rides to those wanting the experience of the year 2008 in 250 years?
Christopher Gurshin