Project underway to honour legacy of local horse-drawn carriage maker

Bayfield Lions and the Bayfield Historical Society are collaborating on a project to honor the history of Bayfield’s Tom Penhale Horse-Drawn Landau.

Lions member Dave Gillians details what the project involves.

“The project was to purchase an original Tom Penhale Landau, completely refurbish it, build a replica of Bayfield’s two-cow barn behind the archives building at 20 Main Street, and house and display the Landau there,” explains Gillians.

Made a presentation to the Bluewater Council this week and gained Council support for the project. The Gillians pointed out they would not ask council for any money and they would raise whatever money was needed to buy the landau and build a two-cow barn behind the archives building.

Gillians noted that the next step is to make a presentation to the estate committee.

“So once we get approval from the council and approval from the heritage committee, we can start fundraising. We hope we can show at the Lions Home and Garden show at the end of April and start our fundraising at that time,” Gillians added.

Gillians said that once they acquired the landau and built the barns, they would turn them all over to the municipality so they could use them as part of the branding at various events.

Tom Penhale, as Gillians explains, grew up on a farm in Huron County and learned all his skills there, including building his own equipment and repairing his own equipment, which led him to create the wagon that made him famous. Penhale builds some of the most beautiful carriages in North America, including carriages for Disney, Rose Bowl Parade Grand Marshall, Weston Foods and Wells Fargo, Gillians said. Over the two decades from the 1970s to the 1990s, Tom Penhale built some of the most spectacular carriages in the world, Gillians said, and the project honors him.

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