Bar Harbor Buckboard

H. & H. W. Davis
Ellsworth, Maine
Circa 1900

The Bar Harbor buckboard was designed for use by hotels as a beach wagon during the holiday season. It could be bought in various sizes, the four-seat version being the largest. The seats are mounted on long boards in true buckboard style, but it has additional steel springs at each end to ensure a more comfortable ride.

This buckboard originally belonged to the Luddington family of Philadelphia, who used it at their holiday home in Maine. Mr. Seabrook discovered it hanging in a barn in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
In its original state it had very high wheels, no doubt intended to make the draft a bit easier on sandy beaches, but this limited the turning arc considerably, making driving through the woods of South Jersey extremely difficult. To overcome this problem, Mr. Seabrook had four smaller wheels made by the long-established firm of Hoopes Brothers & Darlington in West Chester, Pennsylvania. When fully loaded, the buckboards sagged considerably and this was improved by fitting two strong and adjustable wire cable braces under the buckboards.

W.H. & H.E. Davis were brothers who took over their father’s business in 1880. They made a specialty of “improved” buckboards. In addition to their workshop in Ellsworth, the Davis brothers had premises in Bar Harbor, a fashionable summer resort.

Helping preserve our horse-drawn heritage for over 50 years.