A Restored One Horse Open Sleigh in Tappan

Dated: 12/05/2012

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   Many years ago, my neighbor gave us an old one horse open sleigh that had been stored in her barn for decades after the original owners had stopped using it.  It needed some restoring, since it had been singed by a fire, but after a little work and a coat of paint, it went on our front lawn in time for Christmas.   Every year since, the sleigh has been either painted or repaired, but this year it was a whole different story.  Superstorm Sandy dropped a major branch onto our driveway, and a part of it fell on the sleigh, crushing it.  Over the years, I have replaced wood as it deteriorated, but now the entire body had to be rebuild from scratch. I always wondered when something ceases to be original- the USS Constitution has only something like twenty percent of its original wood left, but I think the sleigh's only original parts are the metal runners and hardware, and about five percent of the wood.  It looks pretty good, if I do say so myself, and sits proudly on the front lawn, reminding passersby of a time long gone, when streets were rolled, not plowed after a snowfall.  

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Thano Schoppel

I have been a resident of Tappan for forty years, and still live in the 1860 Italianate Victorian house my wife Jean and I bought all those years ago. I have always been active in the community, inclu....

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