The Lost Trotting Parks Storyboard Archives

The Lost Trotting Parks Storyboard Archives

Friday, April 30, 2010

Bangor Summer Meet July 1952

Maplewood Park -- Bass Park
Bangor Raceway/OTB at Historic Bass Park

The following storyboards present
Bangor Summer Meet 1952
at the Bangor Fair

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Harness Racing Vehicles (Book for Sale)

I have five copies of Harness Racing Vehicles available for purchase. Three of the images in the storyboard below are scanned from this book. Harness Racing Vehicles is thoroughly researched and provides readers with patent diagrams, pictures, and descriptions. If you enjoy harness racing and its rich history, this book will be a good read!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Maine Farmer Notes Trotting in Rockport, Maine

One of the 1895 issues of the Maine Farmer noted that "trotting was formally opened for 1895 at the Rockport Track. According to Barbara Dyer, a local historian, and officials at the Rockport Town Office a trotting track never existed in Rockport. It was stated that an amusement park existed in Rockport. I e-mailed Greg Wilkinson to see if he knew anything about trotting in Rockport. Greg graciously offered for our review this image of a fair in Rockport.

Elmwood Stud Farm 1901, Lewiston Junction, Maine

Following is a biography of James S. Sanborn, owner of the Elmwood Stud Farm and part owner and manager of "The Maine Farmer."
Biographical History of
Biographies and Autobiographies of the
Leading Men in the State
Samuel Atkins Eliot, A.M., D.D.
Volume VIII
Copyrighted, 1916, by
Massachusetts Biogbaphical Society
All rights reserved


The Sanborn family of America traces their ancestry from Nicholas Sanbourne of Wiltshire, England, who was born about 1320 and represented Bath City at the Parliament held at Westminster, November 3, 1391.

Lieutenant John Sanborn, the immigrant ancestor of James Solomon Sanborn, was born in England in 1620. Some twenty years later he emigrated to America and settled in Hampton, New Hampshire. Thence the line runs as follows: John Sanborn, son of Lieutenant John Sanborn, born in Hampton, 1649; Enoch Sanborn, son of John Sanborn (2), born in Hampton, 1686; Moses Sanborn, born in Hampton Falls about 1717; Henry Sanborn, son of Moses Sanborn (4), born in Kensington, New Hampshire, in 1746; Moses Sanborn, son of Henry Sanborn (5) was born in Epping, New Hampshire, April 25, 1777; moved to Wales, Maine.
Henry Sanborn, son of Moses Sanborn (6) was born in Epping, New Hampshire, February 18, 1808. He went to Maine with his family and followed farming to the end of his life. His only child, James Solomon Sanborn, was born in Wales, Maine, March 29,1835. His mother was Ann Grossman Daly. He died in Somerville. May 10, 1903. His boyhood was spent in Wales and Monmouth, Maine, and in Nashua, New Hampshire. His education was secured in the district schools of the time. Trained in the rocky fields of Maine, without much of the technical training of the schools, he was big in body and big in mind, and, as the sequel shows, big also in sympathy and affection.

His business career was begun as a traveling salesman for the seed house of A. H. Dunlap of Nashua, New Hampshire. Here his aggressive qualities found free play and for a number of years he not only succeeded in satisfying his employers and making money for himself, but he graduated from that fine school of experience which has furnished a highway to success for so many young American commercial travelers.

Mr. Sanborn was not the man to remain long working for somebody else. He could follow when necessary, but his native ability and energy made him a leader rather than a follower. His first business venture on his own account was in Lewiston, Maine, where he went into the coffee and spice business. This led to a wide acquaintance with the trade and resulted in his connection in 1868 with the firm of Dwinell, Hayward and Company of Boston, large
dealers in his coffee and spices. Here he became a dominating force in the coffee trade.

In 1878 he formed a partnership with Caleb Chase and established the firm of Chase and Sanborn, dealers in tea and coffee. It is perhaps no exaggeration to say that this remarkable firm sprang into almost immediate success and speedily won a world-wide reputation. They gathered coffee and tea from the lands in which they grew and distributed it to the farthest comer of the United States. Mr. Sanborn would be the last to claim exclusive credit for the remarkable success of the firm. The truth is that the genius of Mr. Sanborn and his partner called together a very extraordinary group of younger men and compacted them into an organization so full of energy, of initiative, and withal of so much loyalty that success was certain. Mr. Sanborn was not only a giant worker himself, but he was a genius in finding men and infusing into them his own spirit of enterprise. Bold to audacity in the matter of advertising, the firm furnished the coffee to all the restaurants on the ground of the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. Mr. Sanborn at the request of his partner took entire charge of this feature of their business. It was resolved that the name of Chase and Sanborn as distributors of coffee should be known to the farthest limits of the land. But it was not enough that they should be known. They must be favorably known. Every man who knew them should be a friend. Therefore from the outset it was established as a settled principle that there was to be no trickery. The name of Chase and Sanborn was to stand for honest goods at honest prices.

Mr. Sanborn, after entering business in Boston, made his home in Somerville, Massachusetts, to the end of his life, except for a period of five years from 1884 to 1889 when he lived in Boston. He had a summer home in Poland, Maine. An enormous worker, Mr. Sanborn also had his pleasures, one of which was farm life with special reference to horse breeding. He gave particular attention to the breeding of French coach horses and his stables at Elmwood were justly famous.

In 1879, he became part owner and manager of the Maine Farmer, a weekly newspaper of wide influence for more than half a century. Bom among the hills of Maine, he was a true lover of nature and was never happier than when near to Nature’s heart. Mr. Sanborn was also an extensive traveler, particularly among the coffee and spice-producing countries of Europe and America.

James S. Sanborn was a big, brainy, successful business man, typical of New England's best, but that is not saying enough, for he was as big hearted as he was big brained. There was no littleness or meanness in his nature. He wanted to succeed and he did succeed, but never at another man's expense. He worked not for himself nor by himself. He worked in the spirit of cooperation for the common good, and nothing pleased him more than to observe the prosperity of some young man associated with him in business. Of a peculiarly cheerful and hopeful disposition, he managed to infuse his cheerfulness into the organization of men which he had helped to bring together.

"Without taking part in active politics, Mr. Sanborn was essentially a patriot. Without religious ostentation, he was essentially a Christian and was long connected with the Winter Hill Congregational Church.

He was married November 6, 1856, to Harriet Newell, daughter of Captain John and Sarah (Moody) Small of Auburn, Maine. She died in 1901. To them were born four children: Helen Josephine, an author, living in Somerville and Boston; Charles Edgar, died in 1905 ; Oren, Cheney ; Georgie Dunlap, who married
Edward Sands Townsend of Boston. Both sons were connected with the firm of Chase and Sanborn.

So lived James Solomon Sanborn whose life is summed up in the words of a friend: "His executive gift was his genius. Integrity of character was the inspiration of his gift for organizing and for executing. He never betrayed a friend. He was wholesome, genial, and strong in body and mind. A great originating merchant, he leaves behind him a legacy of unique values in memories and in friendships, as well as in fame and service, as an industrial

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Camden's Lost Trotting Park -- 1902

This past Saturday we traveled to Camden to enjoy the sun, the ocean, eat seafood, and shop. I also found time to drop by the Edward J. Walsh History Center located on the second floor of the Camden Public Library. At the History Center I first met Sandy Delano. I had spoken with him as he was volunteering with the Rockland Historical Society. Eventually, Heather Bilodeau who is the coordinator of the History Center returned.
The center was amazingly organized, attractive, and engaging. Heather's aunt, Barbara Dyer is a long time resident of Camden and author of several books on Camden.
The following storyboard was created with images and information obtained from the History Center.
"This year the Camden Trotting Park, owned by the Camden Trotting Park Association, opened with a most successful celebration on July 4. This park has an excellent half mile track, and is the only park in the state having a sub-way entrance. It has since been the scene of. many successful celebrations and races and for a number of years several successful and interesting fairs were held there."
Excerpt from The History of Camden and Rockport, Maine by Reuel Robinson 
Trotting occurred in this park for only four years. Holly Bean tried to sell the trotting park to town of Camden. It was bought by a business as a location for storing ice. The town eventually bought the land.
In a quick review of the local newspaper for the year 1902, baseball games were the most reported activity.
Note: Last week I read a short report in an 1895 Maine Farmer issue that indicated that trotting was beginning in the town of Rockport. Barbara Dyer, a local historian, has no knowledge of a trotting park in Rockport. Officials at the Rockport Town Office also reported no such knowledge.
Following is the contact information for the Edward J. Walsh History Center:
Contact: 207-236-3440 Ext. 21
Mail: 55 Main Street, Camden, Maine 04843 Web:
Hours:Wednesday -- Saturday 9:30 to 4:00Tuesday 9:30 to 8:00

Friday, April 23, 2010

Trotting at the Lincoln Trotting Park

George King has been searching for an image showing trotting at Lincoln. He Finally found the image and forwarded for posting to the Lost Trotting Parks Blog. Throughout Maine there are photos of trotting in family photo albums, boxes stored in attics, and photos not cataloged at local libraries and historical societies. I thank George for his efforts to share Lincoln's trotting horse history.

Horse Engravings from the Farmers' Manual

Selected Horse Engravings from the Farmers' Manual

The engraving of Nelson was first published in the early 1890's. Nelson's championship trot occurred in 1890. The Farmers' Manual was published in 1897 seven year after Nelson was recognized as the world's champion and "the Northern King." In 1897, Nelson was fifteen years old. Nelson died in 1909 at the age of 27. His owner, Hod Nelson died in 1915. The champion trotting stallion Nelson was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the Harness Racing Museum in Goshen, New York. Nelson is the only Maine horse so honored.

1897 Farmers' Manual

This collection of posts presents sections of the Farmers' Manual that provides advice and guidance in the purchasing, training and care of horses. Topics include the following:

-- How to Tell A Good Horse, and Practical Rules for Purchasing
-- How to Tell the Age of the Horse
-- How to Train, Drive, and Break Horses
-- How to Pick Out a Trotting Horse
-- How to Tell the Disposition of a Horse
-- The Use and Abuse of the Check-Rein
-- Remedies for the Kicking Horse
-- How to Drive Pullers and Luggers on the Bit
-- The Safest Way to Tie a Halter
-- How to Manage A Balky Horse
-- How to Keep a Horse from Pawing in the Stall
-- How to Teach a Horse Tricks
-- How to Make a Horse Lie Down
-- How to Breed and Care for Horses

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Images of Noted Men and Horses 1886

Specifics about many of these images can be found in the book, Maine's Trotting Horse Heritage Trail, by Clark P. Thompson.

Calais' Lost Trotting Park

On April 18, 2010, I presented the Storyboards of the Lost Trotting Parks Blog to the Taconnett Falls Genealogy Library in Winslow. Thelma Eye Brooks was in the audience. During the presentation, she informed me that she had received an e-mail with images of the Calais Trotting Park. Thelma e-mailed the images to be. I contacted Al Churchill for permission to use the images. This storyboard consists of those images and text written by Al Churchill. My thanks to Thelma and to Al!

At one time the home of noted horse Nancy Hanks was the Calais Stock Farm.

Monday, April 19, 2010

How to Break and Train Colts -- The Farmers' Manual

1897 Farmer's Manual including a Complete Set of Breeders' Tables

Last week I received an e-mail with an attachment from an E-Bay seller. He had visited The Lost Trotting Parks Blog and thought the information provided on the page titled, "History of the First Trotting in America," would be a great addition to the research. I agreed and actually purchased the book. Although the book is in poor conditions, it is a great find and resource. With Photoshop I can revive many of the images of text selections. I hope Lost Trotting Parks readers will enjoy the posts from The Farmers' Manual (1897)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Augusta Driving Park

Augusta's trotting park was the subject of earlier posts. However, the posts were created prior to the development of storyboards. Therefore, here is a storyboard on Augusta's lost trotting park. The trotting park is now the location of KV YMCA and the building housing the Augusta Police Department, Augusta Housing, and Augusta Adult Education. There is a display at the YMCA presenting the Augusta Fairgrounds. The images of trotting are attributed to the mid-1850s. However, the sulkies are bicycle wheel sulkies. These sulkies were first used in 1892.

In 1920, the State of Maine hired an engineering firm to redo the grounds of the statehouse. The City of Augusta contracted with the same firm to redesign the trotting park to become a general recreational park. For whatever reasons, there are no pictures showing trotting at the Augusta Trotting Park. The pictures displayed at the YMCA may be examples of what trotting looked like at the time and not actual photos of the trotting park. If anyone can locate photos of the Augusta Driving Park, please e-mail or call Stephen Thompson at 207-242-7774.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Cherryfield's Lost Trotting Park

Growing up I knew about Cherryfield, Maine! Carlton Willey was a major league baseball player who played for the Milwaukee Braves. Carlton was from Cherryfield. Now just a few years later, I revisit Cherryfield. However, this time for lost trotting parks. Last fall I called the Cherryfield town office. I was referred to Kathy Upton. Her time was limited and was unable to provide me with any information at the time. She would get to it later in the year. Time passed and I called Kathy this past week. Kathy stated that she would get down to the historical society and see what was available. Today when I opened my G-Mail account there was an e-mail from Kathy with 25 items attached. Kathy, thank you for taking the time to share these images of the Cherryfield Trotting Park. These images may be viewed at the Cherryfield Historical Society. The earliest program is dated 1894. In the near future, I will do additional work to identify the horseman and key players who made the Cherryfield Fair possible.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Fairgrounds at New Gloucester with trotting track

On our trip back from Buxton, we drove up through Gorham to Windham to Gray to New Gloucester. As we were driving through New Gloucester we saw the sign for the New Gloucester Fairgrounds. Libby turned left down this curvy road which led to the fairgrounds. More research and posts will be forthcoming!

Route 112 cuts through Gorham's Lost Trotting Park -- Now Soccer Fields

Greg Wilkinson provided me with most of the images on the first storyboard. Greg considered Gorham Raceway to be the most beautiful track in the State of Maine. The Gorham Raceway closed in 1967.

The last time and only time I sat in the grandstands at the Gorham Raceway was 1966. We were visiting Hort Gilman and his family who lived in Gorham. Gil ran Mr. G's IGA Foodliner. Gil, Mary, and their three sons, Steve, Link, and Mike lived on the Reach Road in Presque Isle prior to their move to Gorham.

On Saturday, April 10, 2010, Libby and I were driving back from Buxton when I realized we had just passed the location of the Gorham Raceway. We completed a u-turn so I could take photos of the what appears to be the turns of the track. More research on the Gorham Raceway will be conducted in the near future.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Maine Farmer August 11, 1887 -- Stallion Nelson on Front Page

This Maine Farmer Storyboard presents the horse related clips that were published on August 11, 1887.

Harness Racing Vehicles by D'Amato & Green

This 207 page book provides you with imagery and history of the vehicles used in harness racing. From the two-wheeled sulky to the four-wheel racing sulky, from road riders to speed wagons, readers will be introduced to each type of vehicle through design drawings, antique plates, and advertisements. Click on this storyboard to order your copy!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Maine Farmer 1877 to 1900

This week Peter Stowell, Historian for the Dixfield Historical Society, and I have been taking our mornings to work at the Maine State Library digitizing the front pages of the Maine Farmer. When this work is completed each front page will be indexed and converted to a PDF file. The Maine Farmer was a weekly publication. Therefore we will have more than 750 pages of information related to farming and trotting in the State of Maine. Stories and images from the Maine Farmer will be cropped and placed into subject based storyboards. Storyboards will be given to the Maine State Library for display purposes. Peter, I appreciate his help! After the 600th image was taken, Peter looked at me and said, "I just can't image what you can do for me as a payback!" Just maybe -- a Lost Trotting Parks T-Shirt! Peter, thank you for your help!

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