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A winter sleigh ride

Over the snowy fields, to church or school in winter time
Bundled up for a horse-drawn wagon ride to church. According to the BWG Public Library Archives, photo is of the 'Lloyd Family.' Photo from Archives, Governor Simcoe Slept Here.

Postcard Memories is a series of historic views, stories and photos of Bradford West Gwillimbury, a trip down memory lane on a Saturday morning.

For decades after the advent of the automobile, horse-drawn wagons and sleighs remained the mode of transportation of choice in rural BWG, especially in winter, when roads were often impassable due to drifting snow.

Many families have memories of travelling by sleigh or cutter to church on Sunday.

“In the winter, Dad hitched up the horses to the sleigh. He had a grain wagon box, which he put on the sleigh, with boards across it for us to sit on. We all sat in rows dressed in knitted toques, scarves and mitts, long black stockings over our shoes with a black pair of rubbers, and long warm coats with underwear made of white flannelette,” wrote Frances Kneeshaw.

And at their feet? “Bricks were warmed in the wood stove oven, then wrapped up to keep us warm.”

Details from the Archives at the BWG Public Library, and Governor Simcoe Slept Here: The legacy of West Gwillimbury.



Miriam King

About the Author: Miriam King

Miriam King is a journalist and photographer with Bradford Today, covering news and events in Bradford West Gwillimbury and Innisfil.
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