The Lost Trotting Parks Storyboard Archives

The Lost Trotting Parks Storyboard Archives

Friday, November 27, 2009

McFaul Park -- Trotting in Eastport

This was too easy a find. When I spoke with folks in the Eastport Town Office, I was told that this track was actually built in the early 1990's for car racing enthusiasts! The search goes on!




Location of the former trotting Park in Eastport -- McFaul Park. McFaul Park was built by Alexander McFaul.

Newspaper article, September 1893 -- Courtesy of Neplains, Inc.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Become a Lost Trotting Park Detective

This post is your invitation to join the Lost Trotting Parks research team. If this interests you. Here is your first assignment! There are probably 100 Maine communities that held trotting races. One way to search for a lost trotting track is by using Google Maps. Enter a town's name and Maine. This will take you to a map or aerial view of the community. Often Lost Trotting Parks have become shopping centers, school yards, parks, or just lost in the woods. You can see examples of lost parks and current locations by reviewing the blog. Following is a list of Maine communities that once had a fairground or trotting park:

Ashland
Damariscotta
Dexter
Durham
Freeport
Kingfield
Lewiston
Lincoln
Old Town
Phillips
Pittston
Rangeley
Rockland
Rumford

In Google Maps, take a close look at these communities. See if you can locate the halo of a lost trotting park. Sometimes you may only see a turn in the track that still exists. If you believe you have found a location, using the e-mail option in Google Maps and send me an e-mail at lifework@gmail.com.


I will follow-up and get back to you and post findings on the Lost Trotting Parks Blog!

Augusta Trotting Park Tuesday, June 3, 1884

Under the management of Mr. Charles Sylvester, the Augusta trotting park has become one of the best tracks in this section of the State. When he commenced on it the first of the sprint, it was entirely out of repair, was very narrow, and totally unfit for the purpose intended. Mr. Sylvester worked on it for nearly two weeks with a span of horses and several men. The surface was plowed on the outside around the entire course. Afterwards it was rolled with a heavy granite roller, until now it is as smoothe as a floor, of abundant width, and very hard. Previously, the surface was soft and a horse would sink to the fetlock at every step.

Our citizens who are interested in horse flesh are daily speeding their flyers over the track and are highly pleased with it. Many valuable young horses are owned in Augusta. Asa Libby possesses a by mare six years old, sired by Winthrop Morrill, which can show a 2.30 clip. Frank Kinsman draws the lines over a gray gelding by Independence, 6 years old, which is showing fine speed qualities. J.H. Grant's 6 year old gelding, sired by King Philip, is at home when moving at a "40 step." He is also the owner of "Cushnoc," a 5 year old stallion, which is a very promising animal. Charles Cobb drives a very handsome gelding, 4 year old. Chas. Nason is the owner of a bay mare 6 years old, by Sanford Knox, which is generally admired by horsemen.

Mr. Sylvester is doing quite a business training horses for other parties. he is experienced in this line of work, and has been very successful in fitting horses for driving, and the race course.

A race is talked of to take place on the park, the Fourth of July.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Google Earth Image of Canton Trotting Park


Canton, Maine was the home of J.W. Thompson, the editor and publisher of The Maine Horse Breeders' Monthly.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

2002 Capitol Weekly Article -- Augusta's Trotting Park History


This article from the Capitol Weekly was e-mailed to me by Lisa Morin, Assessor's Office, Augusta, Maine. Click on image to make it bigger!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hail Columbia! Yankee Doodle

HAIL COLUMBIA! YANKEE DOODLE!
FOURTH OF JULY, 1887
PRINCETON
LEGALIZED BILL OF FARE

Sunrise. Anvil chorus, Committee, Thos. Larner, H.A. Horseman

7:oo Grant Procession of Zanyites from Wonderland. Fun
Best Exemplification of Character, Worst Horridness. Committee Captain. W.M. Shaw,
Leader, Richard Smith; H.L. Buck, J.F. Furbish. Prises $2.00, $1.00

9:00 Music by Milltown Band, N. Ripley, no charge

9:30 Greased Pole -- Committee, L.R. Horsman, Albert Fitz. Prises $2.00, $1.00

10:10 Damp Polo. Committee, William Mercier, Will Yates. Prizes, $2.00, $1.00

10:30 Canoe Race. Committee. B.F. Chadbourne, Waldo Mercier. Prizes, $2.00, $1.00

11:30 Greased Pig. Committee. Wm. Farrell, Peter Doyle

11:45 Four Foot Race. Committee, H.A. Horsman. J.A. Kneeland

12:00 Dinner. Eat, Drink, and Be Merry. Don't Stop Over

1:30 Obstacle Race. Committee. Amos Fenleson, George Mckechnie, Richard Smith

2:00 Games Baseball on the Common. Committee. S.L. Peabody, John H. Rose. Prize. Bat and Ball

2:00 Horse Trot at the Park, Two Races. four to enter; three to trot. Horses taking money in the first race cannot enter for second race. Prizes for each race, $25.00, $15.00, $10.00

4:00 Horse Running at the Park. Prizes $3.00, $2.00

4:30 Egg Jump, on the Common, Committee, Chas. Spooner, W.E. Gould. Prizes $1.00, $0.75

4:45 Sack Race. Committee. W.R. Dresser, Chas. Spooner, Prizes $2.00, $0.50

5:00 Half Mile Run on Main Street. Committee, D. T. Belmore, Thos. Larner, John McMann. Prize, $1.00

5:15 Wheelbarrow Race. Committee, Abner Leland, James Finley. Prizes $1.00, $0.50

5:30 Tug of War, opposite Post Office, Committee, Waldo Mercier, James M. Heath. All Haul

6:00 Supper Strawberries and Cream

7:00 Rest

8:00 Dance in Town Hall
Norman Horsman, Marshall

Copy of newspaper article courtesy of Rachel Hamilton


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fort Fairfield's Lost Trotting Park

The trotting park in Fort Fairfield was located at the end of Park Street by the River. Park Street was a left off lower Main Street.

The Kennebunk Driving Park 1891

In the 1890s, the trotting park in Kennebunk was called the Kennebunk Driving Park. The park fell into disuse, but was revived in the 1920s and called the Kennebunk Trotting Park. The park was located on the left off Fletcher Street when leaving town. Today, the park location is the home of one of the Maine Turnpike's maintenance garages. This Google Map's aerial view shows the location of the maintenance garage next to the turnpike.

Archivist, Rosalind Magnuson, at the Brick Store Museum in Kennebunk will be conducting further research on the park. The Brick Store Museum is located at 117 Main Street, Kennebunk, Maine.

Note the small turn in the tree line just beyond the pavement in the parking area of the maintenance garage. This may represent what is left of the outline of the track.

Patten's Lost Trotting Park

Local historian, Rhonda Brophy, is gathering information and images about Patten's Lost Trotting Park. Rhonda believes the park was located off Route 159. On the left of Route 159 as you leave town, you will see a small gravel pit. Above that pit you can see in the trees what appears to be the halo of a half-mile trotting track.

Milo's Lost Trotting Park



Although not yet confirmed it appears that the lost trotting park in Milo is located off Route 11 and to the upper right of the Evergreen Cemetery. Local historian Gwen Bradeen is gathering materials on this park and its location.

Items courtesy of the Milo Historical Society


Monday, November 16, 2009

The Princeton Fair by Maurice Richards


THE PRINCETON NINE

First Row: L to R -- Harold White, Taylor Pike, Porter Pike
Center: Thomas White, Manager
Second Row: L to R -- Archie Bushaw, Hod Bryant, Hod White
Tom Elsmore, Lester Fitch, Edward White

THE PRINCETON FAIR

In 1932, I took a walk to what was once the old fairground.The wire fence that once enclosed the area was buried in the grass and bushes.

At each end of the half mile race track, the outer edge was elevated, this being the only evidence that this had been a fairground. That race track was entirely grown up with trees and bushes.

The grandstand under which one of the churches served meals had fallen and decayed -- the same for the judges' stand and the exhibition building.

The Princeton Agricultural Fair was established in 1885 with Oscar Pike, President; Saunders G. Spooer, Treasurer; Horace Buck, Charles A. Rolfe, and Charles Clark, committee members. The fair flourished for a few years and then petered out.

In or about 1910, the fair was organized under the name of the Princeton Agricultural Society. Irving R. Sprague, secretary for the old fair, was chosen president/secretary.

There was some good horse racing. John Mercier owned a fast horse named Lightfoot. In his last race, Lightfoot broke an ankle on the home stretch. This horse was replaced by Miss Lightfoot.

I remember one large horse that would go the half mile track because the driver couldn't hold it, while the others returned for another start. On the word "GO" this horse would break on the one-quarter, even with another driver, yet it would be first under the wire.

There were two merry-go-rounds, side by side, each playing a different tune. I worked in the secretary's office near the merry-go-rounds and it seemed as though I could hear, "Put on your old gray bonnet", and "When you wore a tulip", all night in my sleep.

Many people came by train and from distant farms. They came by team bringing picnic baskets stowed under their seats.

There were water sports at the fairground bordered the south shore of Lewey's Lake. Porter Pike and Peter Lewey were the cleverest on the log rolling. The greased pole was fastened to a scow and extended over the water. One chap made a running slide barefoot sliding sideways, dropped into the lake and won the pig. There were horse swimming races as well as canoe races. The Indians usually won the latter. Ferd Lawler was clever on the horse swimming.

For an extra attraction one year there was a balloon ascension. The plan was for the man to land or parachute into the lake. He wore a heavy life preserver, but the wind carried him South, and he had to stay aloft until he was over an open field.

Each afternoon of the three days was a good ball game. The baseball diamond was in the midway of the race track. When a good batter was up, he was encouraged by fans to "Lake It" or put the ball over the exhibition building just above the lake shore. This would be a home run with time to spare.

Thomas White, a Civil War veteran was the manager of the Princeton Nine, Lester Fitch and Porter Pike were pitchers, while Harold White and Taylor Pike were catches. Being very tall, Hod White played first base.

The fair did well for about three years, but insufficient stock being sold at the beginning caused the society to run short of funds and finally close. In later years this lake shore property was used by lumber companies.

Article by Maurice Richards
Information collected by Vernon Wentworth and Donna Worden, Princeton Public Library
Others contacted were Alden McPike, from Waite, Mike McDowell, formerly from Princeton, and Rachel Hamilton, a current resident of Princeton.

Lakeside Trotting Park Princeton Maine

Buxton's Lost Trotting Park

Buxton's lost trotting park was located at the corner where Narragansett Trail and the Old Orchard Beach Road meet. The track was only one-third of a mile. Authorized trots were held there in 1885 and 1890.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Danforth's Lost Trotting Track


Google Maps' aerial view of Danforth's Lost Trotting Track!

Gorham's Lost Trotting Park

Route 112 runs through Gorham's Lost Trotting Park!

Lost Trotting Park in Monroe, Maine

Find the halo of the one-half mile track in Monroe, Maine. The grandstands were purchased and transformed into a chicken coop!

Enterprise Stock Farm Augusta Maine


Enterprise Stock Farm is situated in Augusta, ME., two miles from the Kennebec Bridge on the river road to Waterville; it is a large farm, with abundant pasturing, beautifully located, and well adapted to the raising and developing of fine horses, being handy to the Augusta Driving Park, Railroad, etc. Stud Horses: Bon Burlie, son of Alcantara, and Marimuth, one of the best bred grandsons of Smuggler. W.P. O'Brien, Proprietor and W.s. Lamson, Superintendent.

-- Courtesy of Kennebec Historical Society --

1885 Trotting Results


Copied from Nov. 28, 1885 issue of The Spirit of the Times -- Trotting results from Belfast, Cornish, Vinalhaven, Buxton, and Monroe. The Buxton track was one-third of a mile. Courtesy of Michael V. Henricksen. Click image for larger view!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lost Trotting Park in Princeton Maine




Check out this Google Map image of Princeton, Maine! The Park was located just off the South shore of Lewy Lake between Rolf Street and West Street.

Alden McPike, formerly from Waite, Maine and Mike McDowell, formerly from Princeton, Maine, assisted me in locating the park.


Lost Trotting Park in Jonesboro

Check out this Google Maps' image! Could this be the former location of a trotting park in Jonesboro!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Trotting Park Road Lowell, MA


Check out Trotting Park Road in Lowell, Massachussetts, We have a road, but no park! This is obviously one of MA's Lost Trotting Parks!! Follow the road and see where it goes.

Note: I was searching for the trotting park in Princeton, Maine. Somehow I was directed to Lowell, Maine which was actually Lowell, MA. So there are even lost trotting parks in Massachussetts!!

The Lowell Trotting Park was located on the Lowell Fairgrounds on Gorham Street. You can see the evolution of the area through maps: http://library.uml.edu/clh/Atlas/dmap.htm
It is seen on the 1879 Sanborn Insurance Atlas of Lowell (plate W), and the 1896 Lowell Atlas (plate 12) as the Middlesex North Agricultural Society Fair Grounds. By 1924 the City of Lowell owned a large parcel of land, but no track is seen, as the area was beginning to be developed (plate 7A). The Fairgrounds were dedicated in 1860 and disappeared by 1920. It was used as a training ground for local regiments during the Civil War.
As for Dracut, I could only find a passing mention of the Trotting Park on Trotting Park Lane in a history of the Town. It simply said that there is a granite marker on that road located south of the Old Trot Park.

The Google Maps image shown above represents a trotting park that was originally part of Dracut, MA. This Google map image will take you to the Lowell trotting park location that was at one time located by the railroad track and Fay Street. Compare the Lowell Map and the Google Map image.

Courtesy of the Lowell Historic Board, Lowell, MA -- Map and information provided by Kim Zunino

Oak Grove Park, Springvale -- Mousam River Park, Sanford

"The Sanford Agricultural and Mechanical Association built Oak Grove Park, Springvale, and conducted agricultural airs thereon for a number of years. The Association has dissolved, and the park was sold. Mousam River Park, Sanford, as conducted by the Sanford Fair and Trotting Association, which, although in a state of inactivity, is still in existence."

Excerpted from the History of Sanford, Maine 1661- 1900 By Edwin Emery, William Morrell Emery

Friday, November 6, 2009

Crooked River Driving Association -- South Harrison

Does this Google Maps' image represent the lost trotting park in Harrison, Maine? Newspapers reported that a trotting park existed that was operated by the South Harrison Driving Park Association. If you have any related information, please e-mail Stephen Thompson at lifework50@gmail.com.

This track is located in Harrison where the Deer Hill Road and the Norway Road met.