Tiny and Linda McDaniel of Hotchkiss share a love of beautiful custom-made horse-drawn vehicles. They have 12 carriages, buggies and sleighs.
Tiny has driven their most recent acquisition in this year's Deltarado Days parade with Linda and then in the Delta County Fair Parade with his granddaughter.
They discovered an incredible Amish craftsman in Nappanee, Ind., who makes the buggies. He's LeRoy Martin of Martin's Buggy Shop. The couple has five vehicles that he has made.
Linda McDaniel enthusiastically wheeled out the Phaeton and two sleighs a couple of weeks ago and discussed why the vehicles are so special.
The Phaeton is named after a Greek mythological figure who drove his father's chariot of the sun across the sky, Linda explained. She describes the Drop Front Phaeton as elegant with a "curved reaching under body, fancy curved dash and fenders, a folding top with a window in the back and a rollup flap for ventilation, hydraulic brakes, a brass dash rail and shiny brass hub caps, Anderson Lamps with wick inserts (one on each side of the carriage), extra special plush upholstery on the seat and underside of the convertible top, a single seat that is roomy and comfortable for two people, maroon undercarriage with gold pin striping, a very unique trunk built onto the back, a set of shafts for a single horse and workmanship, class and beauty that won't stop."
The Phaeton is an open-sided doorless carriage featuring a folding top popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. With the drop front, it was easier for ladies to get in and out. The Phaeton was also a favorite of doctors and businessmen.
Martin drew up blueprints for the custom carriage.
The McDaniels got their first horse-drawn vehicle in 1989. They have sleighs. One has front and back seats so four can go for a ride in the snow. They also have a smaller sleigh.
Tiny has been a coal miner for 37 years. He works at West Elk Mine.Linda is a nurse at Delta County Memorial Hospital. Somehow with those two hard jobs they find time for their ranch and their hobby.blog comments powered by Disqus