Buggy Building.

The Great Abolitionist, John Brown, lived in Richfield in the early 1840s. When he first came here with his wife and many children, they lived in a log cabin located at the north end of the Farnam farm. They later moved into a post and board house on what, on maps of the era, was still called the Newton farm but was actually owned by Farnam. That house was close to the S. E. corner of what was later named BrecksvilleĀ  & Streetsboro Rds. On the N. W. corner of the intersection was the stagecoach building, and on the S.E. corner stood the Congregational Church (the third church est. in the Western Reserve). Next to the church was a large buggy building for the parishioners to park their buggies on a Sunday morning. When John Brown would step out the front door of his home to go to work at his tannery (across the road and just north of the stage house) he would see the tannery, the graveyard where his four children were buried, the stage building, the church, and the buggy building. We have now ‘re-created’ what that building looked like. Most of the museum’s large collection of buggies and wagons now stand in that space. It looks a great deal like what The Great Abolitionist would have seen every day. Of special note in the collection of buggies is one built at the Ely Buggy Works of Elyria, Ohio. The Ely family (founders of Elyria) gave that buggy to friends on the occasion of their wedding. There is also a Studebaker buggy. It is one of the last buggies the company built before they began producing Studebaker cars. There is also a two-wheeled, steel wheel military cart, used to carry supplies in the period before WW1 (we have only been able to locate just three other carts like it in the U.S.). And there are also, of course, a number of sleighs and Amish hacks, buggies, and surreys.

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