by Lisa Tome
Bill Meehan has provided Rising Sun residents and visitors with a history lesson for Christmas.
Meehan has loaned his old time sleigh to the Rising Sun Historical Preservation Commission for their holiday display.
The sleigh was made in Rising Sun by Joseph Pogue and Sons. The wood and metal sleigh was created sometime between the late 1800s or early 1900s.
The Gibneys researched the sleigh and found it was built in the Pogue's shop which was on East Cherry Street. The Pogue company was one of the largest carriage, wagon, and sleigh makers on the east coast.
According to newspaper articles from the time, the Pogue shop was built on or about 1879. The business also had "the only positive force feed drill in the world." Joseph S. Pogue also held a patent for his invented shaft coupling.
Mary Gibney saw the sleigh while visiting Meehan's home. She asked to buy it. When he refused to sell, he did consent to lend it to the HPC. Jimmy Gibney said the sleigh was owned by someone wealthy. It has boot scrapers on both sides which was an indication that it was owned by someone prominent.
Jimmy and Mary Gibney helped build the HPC display in the storefront of the former Western Auto store. The sleigh, with Santa onboard, is the focal point. The display, which is lighted every night from about 5-11 p.m. features a lot of the town history.
That includes reproductions of the Christmas cards created by late town historian Bill and Dottie McNamee. There is also a story, written by Jerry Newman, about Joe Dugan's Christmas Tree. There's also a tree with historic lights, antique ice skates, vintage figurines and ornaments, and more. A lantern lighting was part of Tuesday's Community Carol Sing.
The Gibneys said they are grateful to Meehan for lending the sled and to Bud McFadden for allowing them to use the building for the display.
The display will be in the window until after the new year.