By Dan Shine
New Haven’s Horse and Buggy Days
Here are a few articles, taken from the New Haven Register, which tell of the hazards and mishaps which were common during the days of the horse and buggy:
East Rock Cliff, CT Buggy Accident, Sept., 1889
MISS BECK RECOVERING.
Victim of East Rock Accident Badly Bruised But Comfortable.
Miss Mary Beck of 180 Wooster Street, the young woman who was thrown over East Rock cliff Sunday afternoon, is recovering slowly. Her face is a mass of court plaster and surgical stitches where she struck in her fall down the face of the rock, but she is now able to sit up and has found that no bones were broken; in speaking of her experience she said today:
“I regard my escape as almost miraculous, I can remember nothing from the time I went over the stone wall near the side of the rock till I found myself hanging to the small shrub on the side of the rock for dear life. I was not coasting and was not guilty of reckless riding. My wheel struck a stone in the path and that threw me over the side of the rock.”
Charles Thompson, who was with Miss Beck, says that he never expected to see her alive again after she disappeared over the side of the rock.
The New Haven Evening Register, New Haven, 28 Sept., 1889
New Haven, CT Horse and Buggy Accident, June. 1900
KICKED BY A HORSE.
Louis H. Johnson, a Montowese farmer, was painfully injured yesterday afternoon while endeavoring to quiet a frightened hose being driven by two Branford women. The women were driving down North Hill, when they met an automobile. The horse became frightened at the contrivance and as it passed him he shied to one side of the road, overturning the buggy and throwing out the women. The horse slipped and fell as he jumped to the side of the road. Mr. Johnson’s house is near by the scene of the accident, and he, seeking what had occurred, hurried out to render assistance. The horse was struggling where he had fallen and Mr. Johnson stepped up to him to quiet him. He happened to come within range of one of the flying hoofs and it struck him in the jaw, knocking him down and stunning him. He was brought to the New Haven hospital, where it was found that the jaw was fractured, but it is not thought that any serious consequences will result.
The women, who were thrown from the buggy, were not injured, but the buggy was badly broken up. The owner of the automobile is spending the Summer at the residence of R.M. Barnes at North Hill.
New Haven Register, New Haven, 20 June, 1900
New Haven, CT Runaway Accident, March, 1893
A RUNAWAY ON CHURCH STREET.
Henry Fresenlus’ trotter, “Punch,” while hitched in front of a house on Washington street this morning became frightened at something and pulled the hitching strap over his head and started down town for McDonald’s stable, where he is kept. While passing through Congress Avenue Frank Keenan tried to stop the horse, but the bridle slipped through his hands. In front of Saggenhelmer’s store on Church street the horse collided with J. M. Lee’s buckboard, breaking one of the shafts. The horse continued through Church street to Court, where he was caught and taken to this stable. The sleigh was not badly damaged, but the cushions were strewn along the runaway’s route. The horse was scratched about the legs somewhat.
The New Haven Evening Register, New Haven, 7 March, 1893
New Haven, CT Hose Wagon Accident, Nov., 1899
FIREMAN REGAN BURIED.
Funeral Was Held From St. Patrick’s Church This Morning.
JEREMIAH F. REGAN, the fireman, who met a tragic death on Monday when he was thrown from the seat of a hose wagon, No. 8, was buried this morning after services at St. Patrick’s church. There was a large attendance at the services which included members of the fire board, representatives of the various organizations to which the late fireman belonged, members of the fire department and from the state organization of the firemen. From the State Firemen’s Association there were present at the services, President George Pitt of Middletown, Secretary John B. Jones of Westport, and Edward Davis, of Hartford, member of the executive board of the state association. From the late residence of the deceased, 877 State street, the body was escorted to St. Patrick’s church by a detail of 20 firemen under Captain Charles H. O’Neill. A solemn requiem high mass was celebrated by the Rev. Father O’Connell spoke of the sudden death of the fireman while in the performance of his duty and of his faithfulness as a member of the department.
New Haven Evening Register, New Haven, 22 Nov., 1899