Garland Buggy Company, Kalamazoo, Michigan was only in existence a short time – from approximately 1898 to 1901. During that time, a catalog of their company offerings included cutters, sleighs, and buggies. However, it turns out that finding one of these Garland items is next to impossible!
Heartland Museum received what appears to be one-of-a-kind Garland Cutter this summer. Donor Professor Lowell Hill, of Urbana, IL, researched several museums before settling on the Heartland in Clarion, Iowa. His decision was based partly on the fact the cutter originally was purchased by J. B. Carpenter, of Woolstock, Iowa. A prized possession if his wife, Susan, the cutter lay partially forgotten and being destroyed by mice after Susan’s untimely death in an auto accident in1923. But Susan’s granddaughter, Betty, remembered the cutter and begged that it move with her father to Stonega, and then Rowan, Iowa. From there, the cutter followed Betty, now married to Lowell Hill. The couple restored the cutter and finally ended up in Urbana, IL
Several items appear to be unique to this cutter – the curved back metal, the falcon heads on the rein guard, and a drain hole in the umbrella stand are some of the items that stand out. Professor Hill has spent years researching the Garland cutter, and has amassed a 4-inch binder of information. However, some items have never been answered, and he is offering cash rewards for information.
The items still to find are: 1) another brass plate of the Garland Buggy Company on any kind of vehicle. 2) Garland brass plate on a cutter or sleigh. 3) a Garland catalog of cutters and sleighs, with the date. (there is one undated on the internet). 4)an exact replica of the Carpenter owned cutter. 5)proof of when J.B. (Joseph) and Susan acquired the cutter.
If anyone can find these items and get proof to the Heartland Museum, cash rewards are being awarded after verification.
The museum is now open by appointment during the “winter” hours.
The Heartland Museum is located at 119 9th St. SW, Clarion. For more information call 515-602-6000.