The Lost Trotting Parks Storyboard Archives

The Lost Trotting Parks Storyboard Archives

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Story of Nelson -- Suzette Nelson -- Gertrude Nelson -- The Nelson Maternal Bloodline

Throughout November I will post the story of the Nelson bloodline. I am sure that as I post this story other information will become available. In October I contacted individuals in Australia, Canada and Austria attempting to collect information that will make this story memorable for readers. As you read the story if you have any comments or information, please e-mail me at

Steve T.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Abner Ames -- Farming with Horses -- Murphy Road, Fort Fairfield

This post features Abner Ames, an Aroostook County potato farmer from Fort Fairfield. Abner farmed because that was all he knew. He was a hunter and a fisherman. He lost his first farm on the Murphy Road in Fort Fairfield due to hale storms that devastated his potato plants in three consecutive years. Three other families lived on the Murphy Road during this period: the Cassidy, Davenport, and White families. Today their homes and farm buildings are gone. In his farming career, Abner worked four different properties. His last farm was on the Aroostook Falls Road. While living on the Murphy Road, he purchased a retired trotting horse named Spark Direct. It was said that whenever Spark Direct would hit the main road, he would take off at a good trot!
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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Bit of Trotting Horse History -- May King -- Sire of Bingen

Lately my research has taken on a project involving the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. This project started when Kelly Nelson, a descendant of Hod Nelson, visited Hallowell. Our conversation led us to wondering if there were any horses alive today that would be a descendant of Nelson 4209. My cousin Clark had told me many months ago that if Nelson had any bloodline left it would be found in Australia.

I contacted a standardbred auction house in Australia and they referred me to John Peck, a publisher of an Australasian harness racing magazine and a harness racing historian. John worked on the database on harness racing that is accessed through John found the Australisian connection to Nelson through the horse Nelson Bingen. Nelson Bingen by Bingen was foaled in 1912 and exported to New Zealand in 1914. Nelson Bengen's Dam was Suzette Baron. Her dam was Suzette Nelson by Nelson.

Another mare by Nelson was Gertrude Nelson. Her family line still exists in Canada and the United States. Bingen's sire was May King. May King ended up being terribly maligned and in 1905 was sold at auction in New York City for $235. The buyer was N.B. Parsons of Fort Fairfield, Maine. Parsons sold May King to A.T. Hoyt also from Fort Fairfield. May King died on April 8, 1911 at the age of 25.

Last week I called Rayle Reed Ainsworth to see if she knew anything about N.B. Parsons or A.T. Hoyt. Rayle referred me to Marilyn Chase who was originally a Hoyt from Fort Fairfield. Marilyn knew nothing of Parsons, but she did know that A.T. Hoyt was a relative whose father and grandfather had farms that were once on the Hoyt Road in Fort Fairfield. A.T. Hoyt was a car saleman who died in 1952. Marilyn believed that the burial location for May King would probably been on the grandfather's farm. The pictures of Hoyt Road and properties below were taken by Tony Levesque and Mike Bosse.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Death of Seth Griffin -- Builder of Rigby Park

Cheryl and Mike Hendricksen, owners of provided me with the articles regarding Seth Griffin's death and the photograph of Seth Griffin. Mike and Cheryl have been wonderful support throughout the past year as I have developed the Lost Trotting Parks Blog. They sell vintage postcards and trotting horse memorabilia. Check out their website at They often have Maine memorabilia for sale!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

What is a Record?

What Is a Record ?
A Record is a fact written down officially for preservation and reference. When, in a race, the rules require the time made to be written down, the writing of that time is the "record" of the time made. The time is officially ascertained and officially recorded. When one horse trots against another, the time made by the horse first to the wire is recorded against him. When a horse trots against time, say to beat 2:28, and his time is recorded as 2:28, that time is officially ascertained and must be officially recorded. The essence of the contest in this case is the time made, and hence it must be measured with greater care than where it is horse against horse. Now, when the horse has been officially timed and that time officially recorded as shall we reject that fact because he did not trot a quarter of a second faster? How can we avoid accepting it as a fact duly ascertained and officially recorded? Where is the rule which provides that if a horse against time does not win, the time made shall not be a record? It makes no difference what the "usage" may have been in the long past, the rules as they now stand require the time so made to be recorded. They make it an official "record." We have always accepted it as a " record," and we will continue to so accept it till the rules provide that lime so made shall not be recorded. In this office we have nothing to do with the future racing career of the horse. All we want to know is that he trotted regularly and to rule in 2:2S#. and with this performance officially recorded we are compelled to admit him and his family to all the benefits of the 2:10 class.

Excerpted from

Wallace's monthly, Volume 14

By John Hankins Wallace

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Story of Rigby Park from the 1902 Horse Review

This storyboard tells us the story of Rigby Park in South Portland. The first races at Rigby were in 1893; the last in 1899. The park was boarded up in 1900 -- demolished in 1903. After reading this storyboard, enter Rigby Park into the LTP Search and revisit the other storyboards about Rigby Park.