The Lost Trotting Parks Storyboard Archives

The Lost Trotting Parks Storyboard Archives

Friday, January 31, 2014

Maitland Smith --1895 to 1915 -- Life in Hartford, Connecticut

A couple of weeks ago I contacted the Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford, Connecticut to see if they might have information on Maitland Smith. Smith's descendants had indicated that Smith spent the winter months in Hartford and then summered in Belfast. I thank Sierra Dixon for her time at the Society to provide us with the following information.

"Maitland Smith lived in Hartford from at least 1895 until his death in 1915, according to city directories. Throughout the city, Maitland worked in various restaurants and saloons, and lived on Main, Laurel and Imlay Streets. 

Maitland B. Smith was located in Hartford in the 1900 and 1910 US Federal Censuses. 

In 1900, Maitland (born Maine, age 34) lived with his wife Isabelle (age 29, born Maine) sister Mabel (born Maine, age 17), servant Nelly Kellie (born CT, age 23), and boarder Frank W. Jordan (born Maine, age 21). Maitland was indicated as "Marland B. Smith" in 1900, and his  birth date was recorded as September 1865. Maitland's occupation was listed as "liquor dealer", and he and Isabelle had been married for 11 years. No children were either born to Isabelle or living at this time. Based on the amount of years in which Maitland and Isabelle were married, one can estimate their marriage year as 1889. The Smith household was located on 278 Laurel Street in Hartford, CT. 

By 1910, Maitland (age 44) - recorded as "Matland B. Smith"- continued to live on 278 Laurel Street with wife Isabel (age 38), servant Sarah Carey (born MA, age 30), and nephew Albert M. Roberts (born Maine, age 3). Maitland continued to work in retail for a liquor business. 

Maitland B. Smith died October 27, 1915 of cerebral apoplexy."

This Google Earth image presents Smith's neighborhood in Hartford, Connecticut. Today 278 Laurel Street is an empty lot with a fast food restaurant to its left and across the street a bar and restaurant. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Teaching Horses Tricks -- Oscar R. Gleason -- 1906 from Gleason's Book -- How to Handle and Educate Vicious Horses

Birch Grove Park -- One of Maine's Lost Trotting Parks -- Newport, Maine

When I scanned Bruce Nelson's photo postcards back in December, I was surprised to see a postcard of Newport's lost trotting park. I had known of its existence, but had not made efforts to do any research. Today I called the Newport Cultural Center to see if there might be information. I spoke with its director, Leigh Hallett. Again to my surprise I discovered from this conversation that the track still existed. More research to be done! The two storyboards of this post provide us with a view from yesterday and today.

The track's length was approximately 1,058 feet and its width 470 feet.

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Home Stretch -- The American Horse Breeder -- December 22, 1908

From the American Horse Breeder -- January 1912 -- A Snow Sifter and Winter Racing at Charles River Speedway in Massachussetts

American Horse Breeder -- December 22, 1908 -- Men & Horses

A Postponed Race -- From the Cover of the December 22, 1908 Issue of the American Horsebreeder

Introducing the N.W. Scott Leighton Art Gallery -- A Project of the Lost Trotting Parks Heritage Center

Clark P. Thompson, author of Maine's Trotting Horse Heritage Trail, suggested the idea of dedicating an art gallery on the Lost Trotting Parks Heritage Center in memory of Maine born artist, Scott Leighton, whose painting served as the images for thirty Currier & Ives lithographs. The N.W. Scott Leighton Art Gallery is also dedicated to Clark's mother, Alene Leighton Thompson who was born in 1918 and died in 2013. Alene married Colby Thompson. They lived and farmed peas, oats and potatoes in Limestone, Maine. In the early years, they farmed with horses. Upon retiring from farming, Colby and Alene moved to Square Lake (Aroostook County) where they lived year round without utilities and without road access in the winter. For many years snowmobiles were their main mode of transportation in the winter. From the main road, Colby and Alene traveled eight miles one way to their lakeside home.

The N.W. Scott Leighton Art Gallery will feature Leighton's work. In addition selected other selected art work from the 19th and early 20th centuries will be posted to the Gallery.

We hope you enjoy the art of Scott Leighton and other 19th century artists.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Maitland B. Smith's Harness Racing World of 1913 -- Harness Racing Results from the Horse Review Harness Racing Guide

Greetings! This LTP post contains a list of the track records from 1913, links to images of many of the lost parks, and four storyboards with harness racing results. To read the details of these storyboards, please open each storyboard in a separate tab or window. Place your cursor over the storyboards, right click, and select either new window or open in new tab.

Maine Harness Racing Track Records -- 1913

 Records from 37 Maine Tracks

  1. Acton – 2:16 ¼ by Maud Nelson. Pacer 1912
  2. Anson -- 2:20 1/4, by Dan S., pacer; 1912
  3. Augusta – 2:08 ¼ by Earl, Jr., pacer 1912
  4. Bangor – 2.06 ¾ by Earl, Jr., pacer 1912
  5. Belfast – 2:12 ½ by Isabelle, pacer 1905
  6. Calais – 2:14 ¾, by O’Flanigan, pacer: 1913
  7. Casco – 2:18 ¼, by Outcast, pacer: 1912
  8. Cherryfield – 2:18, by Prince Louis, trotter: 1912
  9. Cornish – 2:16, by May Day, pacer, 1912
  10. Damariscotta – 2:15 ¾, by Shamrock, pacer: 1908
  11. Dexter – 2:28, by Helen Kohl, trotter: 1913
  12. Exeter – 2:14 ½, by Dorcas H., pacer, 1906
  13. Fort Fairfield – 2:13 ¼, by Dimple K., pacer;  1912
  14. Fryeburg – 2:15, by Common Votes, pacer, 1913
  15. Gorham – 2:16 ¾, by Maud Nelson, pacer; 1913
  16. Hartland – 2:17 ¼, by Belle P., pacer; 1897
  17. Houlton – 2:14, by Alfie, pacer; 1913
  18. Lewiston – 2:08, by Earl, Jr. pacer; 1913
  19. Livermore Falls – 2:15 1/2, by Greenbrino, Jr., pacer; 1912
  20. Machias – 2:14 ¾, by Dimple K, pacer, 1913
  21. Portland – 2:13 ¾, by Al Dillard, pacer; 1911
  22. Monroe – 2:14 ¾, by Salinas, pacer; 1905
  23. Milo – 2:18, by Beatrice Greeley, pacer; 1902
  24. New Gloucester – 2:21 ½, by Brownette, pacer, 1911
  25. Phillips – 2:17 ¼, by Greenbrino, Jr., pacer, 1912
  26. Presque Isle – 2:12 ¼, by Queen Inez, pacer; 1912
  27. Princeton – 2:16 ¼, by Miss Lightfoot,pacer, 1913
  28. Rumford Falls – 2:20 ¼, by Doctor Jack, pacer, 1904
  29. Skowhegan – 2:14 ½, by Queen Inez, pacer; 1911
  30. South Paris – 2:14, by Louise G., pacer, 1910
  31. Springfield – 2:22 ¼, by Rex, trotter; 1912
  32. Topsham, 2:11 1/4, by Cabel, pacer, 1912
  33. Unity – 2:18 ½, by Doris, pacer; 1908
  34. Union -- 2:18 3/4, by Tammany Girl; 1913
  35. Waterville – 2:10 ½, by Edna B., pacer; 1912
  36. West Cumberland -- 2:16 1/2, by Common Voter, pacer, 1912
  37. Windsor -- 2:22 1/4, by Arrow Belle, trotter; 1913

The Stallions of Pearl Brook Farm -- Marston C and Brown Braden -- Their get performed on the Maine turf in 1913

Monday, January 20, 2014

Pearl Brook Farm -- Lost Trotting Parks' Latest Research Project -- An Update

Often LTP research takes you to unexpected places. I had first learned about Pearl Brook Farm from Megan Pinette, the Director of the Belfast Historical Society and Museum. The 1907 Pearl Brook Farm Stallion Cards became a renewed motivation to discover more about this farm and its owner, Maitland B. Smith. Working with Megan I learned that no one had any photos of the farm. From here I decided to do a bit of research through My Ancestry. This research led me to the fact that Maitland wintered in Hartford, Connecticut and summered in Belfast, Maine. My Ancestry also led me to the Roberts family, the founders of Brooks, Maine. Last week I spoke with a Peter Roberts who knew a few facts that helped me to move in the research. Today I ended up called another descendant of Maitland Smith. This time I struck gold! Within the next two weeks I'll hopefully be able to gather the information and images that will help complete the story of Maitland Smith -- Entrepreneur -- grower of potatoes and tobacco and the manufacturer of the Pearl Brook Cigar! More to come! One interesting aspect -- The story handed down in the Smith/Roberts family was that Maitland may have been one of several owners of Dan Patch before the horse was purchased by Frank Savage.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Franklin County Agricultural Society -- Organization -- Rules -- Regulations -- Franklin Park -- September 19 thru 21, 1933

Organization for 1933
Franklin County Agricultural Society
President: W.E. Mosher, Farmington
Vice President: Lynn S. Savage, Farmington
F.E. Knowlton, Secretary, Farmington
J.L. Tyler, Treasurer and Collector, Farmington

Trustees & Superintendents:
Field and Grounds -- C.F. Wheeler, Chesterville
First Division -- J.F. Blanchard, Wilton; L.M. Mosher, Farmington
Second Division -- Dr. E.E. Russell, Farmington
Third and Fourth Division -- R.C. Hall, East Dixfield

First Division: Livestock
Second Division: Horses
Third Division: Grange Exhibits, Farm Products, Boys and Girls Clubs
Fourth Division: Household Goods such as Quilts and Spreads, Children's Clothing, Paintings

Lost Trotting Parks Latest Adventure -- Maitland B. Smith -- Potatoes, Tobacco, The Pearl Brook Cigar, and Fast Horses -- The Pearl Brook Farm, Belfast, Maine

A stallion card from 1907 has led to many wonderful phone calls in the search of more information about the Pearl Brook Farm and photographs of the farm and its owner, Maitland B. Smith. Working with the Belfast Historical Museum and Museum, we hope that wonderful stories will unfold about Maitland Smith and his farm.

Monday, January 13, 2014

1890 -- 1891 -- "An Honest Horse Industry" -- A Lecture & Essay by B.F. Briggs, Owner of Maple Grove Farm, Auburn, Maine --Androscoggin County's Representative to the Maine Board of Agriculture

-- Bringing the Past to Present to Create the Future --
Your Brand: Lessons for Contemporary Horsemen

By the time the article in the Wallace Monthly was published in 1888, C.H. Nelson was a highly respected horseman throughout Maine, the United States, and Canada. When Nelson would be walking in the paddocks or fairgrounds, people would come up to him and ask him for advice. Nelson was an engaging speaker and highly regarded for his expertise on horses. When Nelson returned from the Civil War in 1866, he returned to his father's store to work. In 1867, Nelson married Emma Aubine Jones. They lived in China, Maine. Realizing that working in a store was not well suited, Nelson entered the business of breeding horses. Nelson ran his horse breeding business at his China location. Then in 1882, Nelson purchased a small farm on the Oakland Road in Waterville, Maine. Nelson 4209, the future champion trotting stallion was foaled the same year. By 1885 Nelson, the man, was well on his way establishing his reputation at Maine's premiere horseman. In 1888 John Wallace, editor of the Wallace Monthly, traveled to Waterville, Maine to interview Nelson. The interview took place at the Elmwood Hotel. The following link will take you to Wallace's article on the Sunnyside Stock Farm.

In 1889 it was reported in the newspaper that Nelson was going to sell his champion stallion Nelson 4209. The sale was contingent upon the results of an upcoming race. Perhaps it was this sale that led Nelson to disgrace and suspension from the National Trotting Association.

Up until the Balch National Stallion Race, C.H. Nelson's brand was one of integrity, honesty, and expert knowledge. It was reported that on given days more than 100 individuals would visit his farm.

NOTE: Additional posts will feature articles from Wallace's Monthly that discuss the scandal created when Nelson was party to the fix of Balch's National Stallion Race at Beacon Park.