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Our Merle Grant Museum showcases many unique horse and leather related items from Merle H. Grant’s Leather Shop of Fredericktown, Ohio. Here is a preview of his collection on display in our museum. Be sure to stop by and check out the entire collection!

  • Cavalry Saddle

    A fine example of a 1904 McClellan Cavalry Saddle complete with unissued saddle bags. The bags have the original canvas lining and the cotton sacks for flour, sugar, coffee, etc.

  • Mule Saddle

    A fine example of a 1913 McClellan Mule Saddle. This saddle was issued to packers who rode mules with Army pack trains.

  • Sidesaddle

    A well-preserved example of a pre-1900, two-horn, sidesaddle.

  • Stitcher

    Merle’s “Champion Combination Harness and Shoe Stitcher”, circa 1940-1950. This was a favorite machine for lining saddle skirts and heavy harness work.

  • Lockstitch Machine

    “The Regular Landis” Model #1 Lockstitch Machine, circa 1950. This is the machine Merle used the most for general stitching.

  • Wooden Harness

    Wooden Harness Part

  • Steel Harness

    "Sherwood Steel Harness", made by Sherwood Harness Company of Syracuse, New York. It was patented by Allen Sherwood on June 27, 1882. Patent Number 260, 128 was listed as "Plow and Work Harness". The Harness was intended to be hitched to any kind of farm implement where a breeching or hold back was not required. The steel part takes the place of conventional single trees and double tree.

  • Brass Shovel

    This solid brass shovel was used in a gunpowder factory at King’s Mills, Ohio to prevent sparks. The horses used here were shod with solid brass horseshoes for the same reason. In fact, all tools used in the factory were of solid brass. King’s Island Amusement Park near Cincinnati now occupies the place where the powder factory once stood.

  • Straw Collar

    In the list of appointments that should be carried on a road coach, one usually finds what is known as a “straw collar”. These collars were customarily made of twisted and braided straw, sedge (a kind of marsh grass) or, as in our example, corn husk. They were cheap to buy. If a horse developed a sore spot on his shoulder while working, the straw collar could be used in place of the regular collar. A depression could easily be formed in the straw over the sore spot. The collar could be made to fit by adjusting the hames, with the formed depression now preventing the collar from pressing on or rubbing the sore spot. To get an idea of how old this corn husk collar is, think back before any kind of automobiles or trains were in use, when any traveling, of any consequence, was dependent on a coach pulled by horses.

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