Accidents In the Sacandaga Valley

With the up coming Labor Day weekend almost upon us; and the traffic and accidents that sometime occur. people in the Sacandaga Valley also encountered problems in the transportation.
Most everything was published in the newspaper regarding these accidents and mishaps as they still are today.

Like our cars today the wagons and carriages required maintenance and back then there was the added costs of vet bills, feed, and shoes for horses and oxen. Not to mention the animals having a mind of their own when it came to what might startle them or stop them in their tracks. Along with dealing with drivers that think they are the only people on the road.

The roads in all seasons presented perils of mud, snow and ice. There were some plank roads in the area but for the most part they were dirt.

Below are a few of the noted Edinburg accidents published in the newspaper suffered in those early times:

February 22nd 1885 A man passed through this place about a week ago driving, or rather riding a team of horses drawing a pair of bobbies ‘stacked’. He was riding thereon in a state of whiscoma to his surroundings, when at a point between here and Fish House Mrs. J.W. Allen and her daughter Jesse drove to the right side of the road in an endeavor to pass him, when a long bolster of his bobbies came in collision of the front wheel of their buggy, completely smashing it. They were compelled to get home the best way they could.

August 17th 1886 While I. T. Vaughn was driving his horse to visit the Northville Park to witness the athletic sports of the Kent picnic on the 14th, he was run against by an ox team and a heavy lumber wagon driven by one Bill Crowter, near the residence of John Schribner, and was thrown to the ground fracturing severe injuries besides. His carriage was badly smashed.

October 26th 1886 David A. Torreys team ran down the hill from near J.W. Latchers machine shop at a furious speed and turned in at the large open gate at the residence of Mr. Latcher demolishing six feet of new picket fencing where the team stopped. Mr. Torrey jumped from the wagon to save himself near Kennicutts Hotel and escaped without injury.

April 15th 1890 Sherman and W. R. Edwards team became frightened in the woods near Priest Farm, they ran in the direction of Barkers Mill leaving the wagon in fragments along the highway. The horses then overtook Mr. and Mrs. Henry Simpson who were riding in a buggy where they became entangled and stopped; very seriously injuring the Simpsons.

July 4th 1890 Mrs. Nellie Olmstead was somewhat shaken up by a running of her horse at the Northville Baseball ground and caused a general stampede of the crowd and frightened Wesley Woods horse so that it ran away capsizing and breaking the vehicle and very seriously injured both Mr. and Mrs. Wood.

Although a name could not be found in references the following is a related story:

There was a horse in a two team carriage owned by a man who would arrive at the Northville train station to carry passengers into the village.

As a rule, this man loaded the carriage with the passengers belongings then would climb up into the drivers seat to take the reins to wait for the passenger to enter the carriage.

As the passenger seated themselves inside, they would slam the door of the carriage which sent a signal to the horse; which would then take right off anxious to be on it’s way.
However one day the driver was on the ground when a passenger entered the carriage and slammed the door and the team took off. There were no details as to what the outcome of that was.
Submitted by Rodena Bosch:

Wesley and Polly Wood were my maternal great, great, grandparents. In checking my genealogy to see if they suffered seriously from this 4th of July accident; Wesley was 53 at the time and lived 11 years more and Polly, 52, lived to be 88.

by Lorraine Frasier