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Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...

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Horse Tales

Horse Tales

GRHC - December 14th, 2011

Horses and other quadrupeds sometimes had difficulty coping with the uncertainties and complexities of urban life.



Martin Sweet, proprietor of Sweet’s Hotel, owned an imported jackass that was so elated with his morning outings that the beast would occasionally elevate its nostrils heavenward and emit a vigorous anthem of delight in his peculiar jackasstical manner. One morning, on North Division, a horse driven by a young lady took fright at this hideous noise and ran away. The young lady was thrown out and severely injured. The buggy was demolished.

In another incident, a horse hitched to a cutter, was left standing at the curb just outside the north entrance of the Michigan Trust building on a cold March day. Evidently this faithful beast came to the conclusion that he had waited about as long for his driver to come out of the building, as any well-bred horse should. He decided to wait no longer and proceeded to enter the building.

He got as far as the revolving doors, but only a little farther. He discovered after an attempt to get through that the designer of the revolving storm doors had not made any provision for their use by quadrupeds of his proportions. He was taken in charge, humiliated and dejected at his failure, and backed up to his place at the curb—probably it was just as well, for not being accustomed to it, a ride on the elevator might have given him an attack of the blind staggers. Nothing was broken but the animal’s spirits.

Full Details

TitleHorse Tales
KeywordsWYCE; radio; Grand Rapids; Historical Commission; history; horses; Martin Sweet; Michigan Trust Building
Pubdate StringDecember 14th, 2011

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