Article Archive >> Summer Tourism

Thrasher Carriage Museum

Thrasher Carriage Museum

The Thrasher Carriage Museum has one of the top collections of horse drawn vehicles, representing every walk of life from the milkman to the President of the United States. The Museum's display includes pleasure vehicles, funeral wagons, sleighs and carts. These items are on permanent display in the renovated 19th century warehouse located at historic Depot Center in Frostburg, Maryland.
Guides and interpretive signs offer a glimpse into the world of the elegant traveler. Stories of the clothing, activities, and lifestyles of Victorian Americans are interspersed with the fascinating details of these remarkable vehicles.
Travel to a time when craftsmen practiced the art of carriage making. Imagine riding in a formal carriage or the Vanderbilt Family Sleigh.
This collection of early 19th and 20th century horse drawn conveyances, is noted as one of the most unique in the United States!
Formal closed carriages, milk wagon, mail wagon, open sleighs, funeral wagons and dog cart are among the 40+ vehicles featured.
Accessories of early travel (hitches, saddles, bearskin lap robes, charcoal foot-warmers, and lanterns) are all housed in the renovated 1800s warehouse as part of the museum's display.
This collection of horse-drawn vehicles was once the private collection of James Richard Thrasher. Mr. Thrasher (or Jim as his friends and family knew him) was born in Midland, Maryland, in 1913. He was the oldest son in a family of eight boys and three girls.
Jim's family settled permanently in the Midland area where his father was a blacksmith. Throughout his childhood, Jim was constantly around horses at the "smithy." His love of horses developed early since he was not only surrounded by horses at the "smithy" but his family also owned several.
Jim's collecting began when a banker and friend in Lonaconing, Alex Sloan, gave him an Extension-Front Brougham in appreciation for a loan that Jim had extended to the bank during the Depression.
Although Jim accumulated several horse-drawn vehicles over the years, it was not until his children were mostly grown that he began to avidly collect carriages.
During the next thirty years of his life, he traveled all over the United States in order to purchase carriages from private collections, auctions, and estate sales. Mr. Thrasher was a well-known figure in the carriage community.
In 1975, Mr. Thrasher leased the Midland School (where he had attended classes as a boy) from the county and opened a museum to showcase the carriages and carriage accessories he had amassed. The museum remained open until 1987 when James Thrasher passed away. Upon his death, Allegany County government purchased the collection from his estate. The current museum opened at the Depot Center in 1991 and is located at 19 Depot Street, Frostburg.
Transportation history is only a short drive away at the Thrasher Carriage Museum in Frostburg, Maryland. Visit or call 301-689-3380 for more information.

Printable version

<< back to Articles on Summer Tourism
<< back to All Articles