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Postcard from the Past - Freighting Teams Tangle

Written by Dick Perue

Collided on Bridge 

One Eight-Horse Team and a Four-Horse Team Try To Pass and Have Mix-Up

Thus reads the headline and sub-head in the Dec. 29, 1904 issue of  “The Saratoga Sun.” Following is the article that appeared in the weekly newspaper.

“Last Thursday afternoon the freight outfit of L. B. Chase, consisting of an eight-horse team and three wagons, met a four-horse coal team belonging to C. S. Taylor in the middle of the bridge, and as a result one of the horses belonging to Taylor has a broken leg and a wagon wheel was badly smashed.

“The bridge is sufficiently wide to allow two wagons to pass if the teams are driven with lines, but the freight outfits nearly all use jerk lines, and it is a difficult matter to keep a long string of horses hugging one side of the bridge. It seems that Mr. Chase had gotten his teams swung over, but the minute the Taylor wagon, which was driven by Chas. Warnock, passed, the leaders then swung back to the middle of the bridge crowding Warnock into the railing, and they were stopped just in time to prevent pushing him clear off the bridge.

“The horse with the broken leg was shot.”

In the same newspaper article, more bad news about the freighters was reported. The article reads:

Mrs. S.J. Ferris Killed 

“Word was received here by telephone Sunday to the effect that Mrs. S. J. Ferris, the woman freighter who left here last fall for Goldfield, Nev. had been killed. Nothing definite can be learned concerning the manner of her death, but it is surmised it was due to an accident with her teams.”