The public is invited to explore the role of the horse in Charlottetown’s history in Charlottetown’s planning and heritage department’s latest exhibit, “Picturing A City: The Horse of Course”.
In this modern era when all people have to do is turn a key to travel five miles down the road or to plow a field, many may not realize that about a hundred years ago, a horse would have been the power behind these activities.
Horses were moving people and goods and plowing fields well before the engine was invented.
The horse was a companion and a highly regarded member of the household. People were proud of their horses and enjoyed showing off their abilities and beauty.
In fact, before the Charlottetown Driving Park was constructed in 1888, locals were racing their horses up the St. Peters Road to see whose was the fastest.
One of the main reasons P.E.I. banned the automobile was that horses were frightened by the noise and appearance of the motorized vehicle.
It was a safety issue for the passengers in a buggy but also for the valued horse.
Because this year marks 100 years since the automobile ban was lifted, it is an ideal time to put a spotlight on the horse, whose role in our ancestors’ daily lives was so vital.
In preparation for the display, city staff have searched their collections for images and ads, and the P.E.I. Museum and Heritage Foundation has provided artifacts for the exhibit.
Among the numerous historic images of horses at work (and play) in the Charlottetown of yesteryear, staff has included some of the delivery horses and wagons that at one time delivered milk, water or coal throughout the city, as well as the horses racing at the Charlottetown Driving Park in the early 20th century.
The heritage staff wishes to thank all of the individuals who donated images and artifacts to make the department’s exhibits possible.
These donations allow the history of the city to be shared with the public and promote its rich heritage.
The exhibit runs at 233 Queen St. until July 22. For more information on donating photos or allowing the city staff to scan images to be used in a future display, contact 902-629-4051.
Past exhibits can be found at charlottetownstories.wordpress.com.