When I started exploring our family history, my aunt and uncle, my dad’s brother gave me a large box of photos that they saved when Grandma passed away. At the time, I had the impression that was all of Grandma’s photos. It didn’t occur to me that my other uncle might have another box of Grandma’s stuff and I didn’t ask.
A few years ago, my other aunt and uncle, Dad’s youngest brother decided to move to a warmer climate now that they were retired. While sorting and packing, my aunt told me there was a box of stuff that had been stored in their barn since Grandma’s death in 1988. I was welcome to look thorough it and take whatever I wanted, but she didn’t think there was anything worth keeping in it.
Nothing worth keeping? The old, brown cardboard box was a treasure chest. Buried for thirty years now found and rescued. Letters, pictures, even tintypes. Thank goodness, I was there that day or these treasures would have been gone forever when the garbage man came.
Some of my now favorite pictures were in that box, including one of my great grandpa, Nathan sitting on a sulky with the horse hitched up. In the background is a large grandstand. My guess is that this was taken at either the Logan County or Hardin County, Ohio Fairgrounds since those were the places he called home for most of his life.
I’m not sure when the picture was taken, except that it was before December 8, 1932 when he passed away at the age of 57. The most promising clue to date it is probably the hat he’s wearing. So far, I haven’t found a dated photo with that style hat. Maybe, sometime during the 1920s?
I knew that my Carder ancestors were good with horses. Nathan’s father, John Mahlon Carder was a regiment teamster during the Civil War and Nate, well, I already had another photo of him handling a horse. What I didn’t know that he participated in harness racing until I found this awesome photo of him
No people are sitting in the grandstand so if it was race day, it was before the crowd arrived. Perhaps, it was just a practice day and the day someone with a camera was available. I wish I would have discovered this picture when my great aunt, Nate’s daughter, was still living. Perhaps, she would have remembered this day. There are so many questions I’d like to ask. Did the horse and sulky belong to Nate or did he just drive for someone else? Was he having his picture taken with it because he was proud that he was able to own his own rig and horse or proud of his accomplishments on the track? Was he proud of this magnificent horse, possibly a champion?
The whole story may never be known but what is known is that, like his father, Nate liked horses and was good with them. I have this awesome photo to prove it.
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