Horse-Drawn Wagon Collector Has Too Much of a Good Thing
This year’s Fryeburg Fair showed visitors how a passion can get out of hand.
How do you store 100 horse-drawn wagons, let alone over 200?
You probably will never have this problem, but collecter Sut Marshall did.
“I used to own over 200 wagons, but my wife and I decided to start cutting back,” Marshall said.
An unusual problem. It started when he was much younger.
His brother had a horse but no carriage. One year, for a Christmas gift, their dad brought them to pick a wagon each. Over time, one became 40.
“Kids broke into one of the places where they're stored and 39 of the 40 were burned,” he said. “The one that wasn't burnt was the one that wasn't there. Even though it was very saddening, I said that we couldn't quit now so we kept buying more.”
Now, as an adult, Marshall only buys the best. He avoids fixer-uppers.
His wife Margaret thought they should only buy originals. “We decided not to buy anything that needed work so we focused on only buying ones that were already restored,” he said.
Before they knew it, they had more than they could handle. To cut back, they donated to museums, sold privately, and consigned to auction. Even so, he may still have too many.
“My wife, I couldn't have a better one,” Marshall said. “She's very supportive but not passionate. Our three kids have no interest. If they did I'd pass the collection to them.”
Their wagons are stored in several different places. Some here, some there. They even keep them at the Fryeburg Fair year round.
He has a few favorites. “An Abbott's dairy milk wagon. We gave it to my dad. If we could only keep one, I'd like to keep the Concord coach,” he said. It originally ran from Epsom to Northwood to Maine to Bridgeton to Hamson.He also likes a rare road coach from England called the Regulator, which went from tavern to tavern. This one took two years to restore.
Sut Marshall’s horse-drawn wagons are on display each fall at the Fryeburg Fair.