Remington Carriage Museum

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Remington Carriage Museum
Remington Carriage Museum is located in Alberta
Remington Carriage Museum
Location in Alberta
Established 1993
Location Cardston, Alberta, Canada
Coordinates 49°11′39″N 113°18′07″W / 49.19420°N 113.30204°W / 49.19420; -113.30204
Type horse-drawn transportation
Website www.remingtoncarriagemuseum.com

The Remington Carriage Museum is located alongside the rolling foothills of Cardston, Alberta, Canada. Opened in 1993, and the largest of its kind in the world, the Remington Carriage Museum displays more than 240 carriages. The museum is a public facility providing visitors with an appreciation of an authentic experience with 19th and early 20th century horse-drawn transportation. Using state-of-the-art techniques, the Remington Carriage Museum brings this bygone era to life. International travellers have acknowledged the display as the finest in the world.

Rated "The Best Indoor Attraction in Canada" four times by Attractions Canada, the 64,000 sq ft (5,900 m2). museum boasts a working stable, carriage rides, video displays, wedding rooms, an 80 seat theatre, Victorian gift shop and restaurant. Situated on twenty acres and centrally located at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, the museum is 40 minutes from Glacier National Park, Montana (United States), and 40 minutes from Waterton Lakes National Park.

Carriage history[edit]

The museum's virtual tour and interactive galleries tell numerous stories of turn-of-the-century Victorian, Parisian, Western and New York society along with the carriage industry. Using theatrical sets, sounds, lighting and hands-on activities, the displays convey a sense of the past. Some feature archival newsreels of real-life scenes such as footsmen, road building, fire fighting and the hustle and bustle of city life.

The main exhibit gallery at the museum is arranged in a series of vignettes. Each tells a story of late 19th and early 20th century North American society and the horse-drawn vehicles that were used. In each area, the coaches carts and sleighs displayed are accompanied by panels providing information with hundreds of archival photographs.

In the Carriage Preservation Workshop, the public is invited to watch expert technicians carry out the art of blacksmithing, wheelwriting, woodworking, metalworking and finishing.

An elegant outdoor equestrian eventing program is also featured at the museum, demonstrating the skill and protocol of competitive driving horses in harness. Driving trails developed around the museum circle Lee.

Donald Remington[edit]

The man behind the Remington Museum.

Don Remington (1914–1987) was a land owner, cattle rancher, developer, bridge builder and philanthropist.

For 35 years, Don Remington and his wife Afton, travelled across North America, Britain and the world to obtain then ship carriages back to restore.

Don Remington himself was a coach-builder, carriage restorer and coach, carriage and sleigh historian and it is with first hand knowledge that he restored the carriages in his collection. Many of the Carriages in the Remington Museum were used in his lifetime.

Don served on the Board of Directors for the American Carriage Association, of which he was a lifetime member.

Royalty, presidents and the Remington collection[edit]

Remington carriages have transported kings, queens, princes with their princesses, dukes and duchesses, earls, countesses, marquesses, lords and ladies, presidents and world heads of state. Celebrities worldwide have found themselves behind the reins of a Remington carriage. Remington Carriages were a part of the world-famous Calgary Stampede and the 1988 Winter Olympic Games. Calgary Heritage Park Days and Spruce Meadows International Equestrian Horse Shows often feature the Remington collection. Remington carriages have attended hundreds of parades worldwide.

Queen Elizabeth II of Canada along with her husband Prince Philip and her son Prince Charles rode in a Remington landau carriage whilst visiting Canada in 1973 and again whilst visiting in 1980.

The Studebaker Company made a landau carriage for Ulysses S. Grant while he was president of the United States in 1869 - 1877. This carriage is featured in the Remington Museum.

Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt owned an original Royal Hansom Cab 1910, located at the Remington Carriage Museum. Don Remington purchased the Vanderbilt cab in New York, then stabilized the carriage and maintained its original Vanderbilt logo, finishes and trimmings. The Royal Hansom Cab frequented the cobbled streets of London, Paris and New York City between 1870 and 1930, prior to the automobile taxis.

The Remington Barouche carried numerous dignitaries, including Prince Phillip and Prince Andrew, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Alberta premiers Ralph Klein and Peter Lougheed, Governor General of Canada Madame Sauve', Mormon President Kimball & President Benson of the LDS Church.

Abraham Lincoln owned an identical barouche while he was president of the United States.

When the Prime Minister of Canada, Diefenbaker went 'Out West' during his sojourn, as Prime Minister his day ride was a Remington barouche carriage.

The Five Glass Landau Coach, made by James Cunningham, Son and Company, Rochester, New York, circa 1890.

In the early 1970s, while Don Remington was visiting England, he came across a man named Colonel Graville Williams who sold him the carriage BBreak by Holland and Holland, London.

Remington's Royal Hansom Cab #4212 Made by Forder & Company Limited, Wolverhampton, England Circa 1870.

The famous Concord Stagecoach[edit]

Concord wells fargo remington collection... Concord Stagecoach Wells Fargo

Another Concord in the collection is an original Buffalo Bill's Stages North Platte Nebraska Stagecoach.

Notables in the Remington Collection[edit]

The Wells Fargo & Co. Yellowstone Wagon, made by Abbot-Downing Company, Concord, New Hampshire, circa 1886. This carriage was later used as a touring wagon in Yellowstone National Park. When Don Remington set about restoring the wagon, they found the original Wells Fargo & Co. lettering on each side.

Role of carriages and funerals[edit]

insert image Hearse1900 manufactured by A.B. Greer of London Ontario.

Funerals were an important rituals in the Victoria era. With all the pomp and pageantry a family could afford, the deceased was laid to rest. The etiquette of morning was tied very closely to a formal social code of dress and behavior.

By the mid-19th century the hearse had evolved from a wagon draped with mourning cloth complete with carved pillars, urns, lamps and interior draperies. The glass panels in the sides of the hearses made the casket visible, thereby accentuating the ceremonial aspects of funerals. For many people, a hearse was the only elegant vehicle they ever got to ride in.

Hollywood and The Remington Collection[edit]

The popular Fox television show The Simpsons episode 17 of the 17th season, "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bangalore", features sisters Patty and Selma kidnapping Richard Dean Anderson, the actor who played action hero MacGyver. Selma and Patty show Dean slides of their summer vacation, including various carriages from the Remington Museum with a front image of Patty and Selma standing next to a bronze statue of the museum's visionary, Don Remington.

Hollywood has made the covered wagon and stagecoach icons of the idealized Old West, and the Remington Carriage Museum has both, including coaches used in past and present Hollywood productions. Visitors can climb aboard the stagecoach used by Jackie Chan in Disney's Shanghai Noon and by Tom Selleck in Crossfire Trail.

The Fay Wray Fountain Memorial is located one block from the Remington Carriage Museum. Fay Wray rose to fame as the dame in distress in the immortal 1933 film King Kong. When Fay Wray returned to Cardston in 1967, she rode in a Remington Concord Stagecoach.[1] Cowboy Country Television profiled Don Remington, season 4 episode 12.

Horses and The Remington Collection[edit]

The story of 19th century transportation would be incomplete without the horse, and the museum's herd of Clydesdales, Quarter Horses and Canadians are a major feature of daily programs. An elegant equestrian eventing program is also featured at the museum, demonstrating the skill and protocol of competitive driving horses in harness. Each horse breed is selected to support the ride program at the museum.

The Clydesdale breed is a widely recognized draft horse used in teams of two, three or four to pull large vehicles seating up to 18 passengers. This breed is known famously as the Budweiser Clydesdale horses.

The American Quarter Horse is bred for speed and for distance, up to a quarter mile, and they are well suited to pulling wagons, buggies and sleighs.

The Canadian Horse was bred from horses shipped to Quebec from France in 1665. Their stamina and quiet temperament make this breed a perfect choice for carriage work.

Pairs of Quarter Horses and Canadians are used at the museum to pull smaller carriages up to six people.

Tack is also an important part of the carriage, Don Remington made thousands of unique one of a kind tack...

The Remington Carriage Museum is part of a network of historic sites and museums in Alberta which include Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Frank Slide Centre. The museum is open year-round, 7 days a week. Cardston is also home to the first Mormon LDS temple built outside the United States.

Affiliations[edit]

The museum is affiliated with CMA, CHIN, and Virtual Museum of Canada.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  • [1] official website
  • Remington Concord Carriage:COVER PHOTO: Canada Cowboy Country Magazine April/May 2008

Coordinates: 49°11′39″N 113°18′14″W / 49.19411°N 113.30399°W / 49.19411; -113.30399 (Remington-Alberta Carriage Centre)