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VISITING BUGGY MUSEUMS

Updated: Jul 30, 2022


Since we started this Buggy Museum Adventure, we have also been visiting buggy museums or, more correctly, museums that happen to feature at least a single buggy. So far, since the summer of 2021, we have visited nine (9) such museums or personal collections.


Well, as time goes on, people hear me talk on KMSD Radio about these different museums, or they follow me on FaceBook, or we visit in the museum on Saturdays - the statement or comment has been made that you are able to do things & go places we can't. Would you consider listing all the museums you visit & say something about each collection - has been the question?


I think it is a good idea, I do keep such a record - so here we go.


Arlo

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MUSEUM #1: Brookings County Historical Society in Volga, SD, their Horse-drawn Equipment building: a Portland sleigh cutter, a Doctor's Buggy & a bobsled, all outstanding examples of each category.


MUSEUM #2: Days of 76 Buggy Museum in Deadwood, SD. While this is primarily a cowboy museum, the entire lower level is completely devoted to buggies, high-wheeled wagons, stagecoaches, chuckwagons - about 25 - 30 of them used each year in their parades. Given their continual usage, they also have a large repair shop.


This is a very complete collection, but almost all are"mountain buggies", very large with brake systems. These buggies are different from the "prairie buggies" we have in our collection.


MUSEUM #3: Patee House Museum in St. Joseph, MO. This is a very large single multi-level building, constructed in about 1860, as a hotel. It is the building from which the very first Pony Express rider departed in 1862. Today it is a large, general purpose museum, with collections mostly from the 1800's, into the early 1900's.


The Patee House has about 25 - 30 buggies, sleigh cutters & bobsleds placed throughout the museum, all very nicely-restored, including the best Deadwood Stagecoach we have seen anywhere, right when you walk in the door.


This is an excellent collection, comparable to the other high-quality buggy collections.


MUSEUM #4: Denver Sleigh Works, Denver, MO. Bill Engel has collected at least 300 ORIGINAL cutters, sleighs & bobsleds - not a single buggy, over the past 30 years. They all reside in a collection of eleven (11) very old buildings that once made up the town square of this small town, current population of about 25.


Since nothing is restored, many are only a shell of their former glory - it is a place of interest to only the most serious collector or historian.


#5: Bill Nigg Private Collection, Brown's Valley, SD. Bill is a very well-known local collector of buggies & wagons. While he has been slowly dispersing his collection, he still has some outstanding pieces.


MUSEUM #6: Hanson Wheel & Buggy Company, Letcher, SD. Doug Hanson owns & operated perhaps the most successful, very high-end, buggy & wagon restoring and/or replicating company in the US. He has clients throughout this country & around the globe - primarily because his products are simply the best, period.


It is not a museum, as such, but he has buildings full of unique examples of 120+ plus year old human conveyences, one after another.


MUSEUM #7: Cheyenne Frontier Days Buggy Museum, Cheyenne, WY. Here agin, this is primarily a cowboy museum, with a nice collection of rodeo queens, but they also have a first-rate buggy museum featuring many pieces used every year in their parade.


Again, a very complete colection with at least 30 examples, but also most are huge "mountain buggies" with very capable brake systems. Thes buggies simply make our buggies look pretty small.


MUSEUM #8: Range Riders Museum Buggy Barn, Miles City, MT. This is a private museum owned by Bunny Miller, a woman whem we have come to know over the years. Her grandfather started the collection long ago, her father owned & operated it throughout his lifetime, as has Bunny, now in her late 70's.


This musem is all things "western", significant collections dealing with western expansion, including a "buggy barn", where not a nickel has been spent in decades.

We did not count the number of buggies & wagons, but they had pretty much all just been driven in off the local ranches & put in place.


MUSEUM #9: Castle Museum Buggy Barn, White Sulphur Springs, MT. This buggy barn is described as "Montana's buggy museum". They have about dozen buggies & sleigh cutters, with a wide variety of quality. Some time, effort & money has bee n spent here, but primarily by the individuals placing their artifact in the collection, but not by the Castle Museum itself.













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