The Lost Trotting Parks Storyboard Archives

The Lost Trotting Parks Storyboard Archives

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Holiday T-Shirts & Posters -- Plan for Stylin' in 2011

2010 has been a wonderfully productive year for the Lost Trotting Parks Heritage Center. There always seems to be something new to find, research, and present. I hope you as a reader of this blog have enjoyed posts that bring the past to present hoping to make a positive impact on the future. There are many people and organizations to thank. To all, a Happy New Year!
Images provided by NEPLAINS.COM.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Post Four: Nelson Bloodline Journeys to New Zealand

The horse Nelson Bingen by Bingen was a descendant of Nelson 4209. Suzette Nelson by Nelson was bred with Baron Wilkes resulting in Suzette Baron. Suzette Baron bred with Bingen gave birth to Nelson Bingen. In 1913, Nelson Bingen was purchased by a New Zealander. In 1914 Suzette Baron was exported to Austria.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

May Your Holiday Season Be Joyous

Cheryl and Michael Hendricksen, owners of, selected this image for the LTP Holiday Greeting.

Happy Holidays! -- Our Best to You!
Cheryl and Michael Hendricksen -- Stephen D. Thompson

Friday, December 17, 2010

Two Abandoned Trotting Tracks in Augusta

George M. Robinson built a trotting track in 1872 that was abandoned. A. Lambard built his driving park across from his property and stables on Hospital Street. Both tracks were abandoned.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Maine's Trotting Horse Heritage Trail Geocaching Challenge

This storyboard presents an idea for comments by LTP readers. The book, Maine's Trotting Horse Heritage Trail, tells the stories of the significant people, places, events, and horses that established Maine's harness racing industry. Take a moment to read this storyboard and e-mail your comments to Is this a good idea for geocachers, family outings, school field trips, and those interested in Maine history? Do you have any suggestions that would help make this idea real?

Is the Image in this Storyboard of Sylvan Park in Machias?

Julie Millay, the current owner of the Sylvan Park property
reviewed the image of the trotting park on this storyboard
to determine if the image was of Sylvan Park. Her review
determined that the image is not Sylvan Park.
If you know the name of this trotting park, please e-mail

Sunday, December 5, 2010

"The horse is possessed of intelligence, sensibility, and affection." C.H. Nelson

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
The Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.--Great God! I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.
William Wordsworth, 1806.


It is that we have forgotten
the age when the horse was king.
What we saw was real.
We did not twitter.
We did not friend on Facebook.
If we spoke someone would answer.
We touched. We smelled. We felt the earth.
Today we step away from what is real.
We need to be face to face
with who we are --with what we feel.
We have forgotten the spirit of the age
when we touched -- we felt the earth --
The age when the horse was king.
Stephen Thompson, 2010.

The newspaper clip below informs us of
C.H. Nelson's opinion of the automobile.
Click CTL + + to enlarge this image.
Newspaper clip image courtesy of Clark P. Thompson

Horse Memories of Luck Ahead by Shirley Hanley

Shirley Hanley has written a beautiful book featuring the harness racing horse and broodmare, Luck Ahead. The story is really the story within the story. Hanley worked for many years as a facilitator for grieving children. This work evokes emotions for young and old alike. Death, dying, and grieving are part of life. This story gently introduces young people to this idea. However, the story moves you quickly to remembering the happy moments -- the gifts and teachings of parents, grandparents, loved ones, and children. This book presents a learning moment -- a shared opportunity for parent and child to move through what may be a sad situation and realize and focus upon happier times -- what we learn from the ones we love.

A must read for parents -- a must read for hospice workers!
A must read for educators working with grieving children!
-- Buy a copy for your local library --

Click CTL + + to enlarge this image.

If you wish to purchase Luck Ahead, mail your
check of $24.00 payable to Shirley Hanley.
The cost covers book, taxes, shipping & handling.
Address: 103 Barber Road, Randolph, Maine 04346
For more information e-mail
or call 207-582-4698.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Post Three: Nelson Bloodline -- Sprague's Journal on the Life of Charles H. Nelson -- May 1915

As we explore the Nelson bloodline it is important that we
explore the life of Charles H. Nelson. Hod Nelson was a
key and controversial figure during the age of
"When the Horse was King."


As we approach the end of 2010 and find ourselves wondering what 2011 will bring, I hope you may be able to integrate this definition of success as part of your mindset. I was introduced to the work of Earl Nightingale by Ken Hamilton, the founder of H.O.P.E.

"Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal"
Earl Nightingale

This definition was one of the motivating factors as I started the lost trotting parks project!

My Best for You in 2011!

Steve Thompson

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Was there a trotting park in Bath, Maine?

The Lost Trotting Parks of Brooklyn

An earlier post of "Bygone Trotting Parks" identified ten trotting parks on Long Island. This Thanksgiving Libby and I journeyed to Brooklyn to give thanks with the in-laws -- The Bradys of Brooklyn! Yesterday we drove to an Italian restaurant near Coney Island. As we drove to the restaurant we passed three locations of past trotting parks. Take a look at "The Golden Era of Brooklyn Racing" by Ryan Goldman. As you read the article click on the map link to a pdf file that will show you where these trotting parks were once located.

Kevin Brady and Steve Thompson
at Gargiulo's!
Luncheon Entres $10 to $13
Great Dining!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Post Two: The Nelson Bloodline

The LTP Post, Sunnyside Farm by Sulky, March 1888 is an
article written by John Wallace based upon an interview
with Hod Nelson at the Elmwood Hotel
in Waterville, Maine in 1888.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Lost Trotting Parks Testimonial -- Bethel Historical Society

The Lost Trotting Parks Heritage Center, founded and coordinated by Stephen Thompson of Hallowell, has set an ambitious goal of documenting—in one place—the rich history of Maine's trotting parks, champion racing horses, and agricultural fairs. I'm pleased to say that the results of this effort have been impressive, and not least for the wealth of information and historic images that have been gathered together and preserved for the benefit of scholars, history buffs, racing aficionados and, of course, the general public. As Executive Director and Curator of Collections of the Bethel Historical Society, I’m especially pleased that our organization has been able to contribute toward this worthy project, and I thank Steve Thompson for his diligence, hard work and enthusiasm.

Randy Bennett, Executive Director, Bethel Historical Society

I would just like to second what Randy Bennett has said about Stephen Thompson's outstanding work in preserving images and the history of the trotting parks and all connected with them. Hearty congratulations! I was also pleased to be part of the process by allowing the image of my Bethel poster to be part of his research.

Stan Howe, Ph.D.
Associate Director
Bethel Historical Society

Note from Stephen Thompson: I thank Randy and Stan for their kind comments!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Rip Van Winkle Stock Farm -- Near Catskill -- New York

This image is taken from a postcard mailed from Catskill, New York with a one cent postage stamp. I found this to be a unique image.