Carpenter treasure revealed: a cutter sleigh

The Carpenter Cutter, all shined up and on display with Santa at the Heartland Museum. Photo by Kacey Ginn

On Saturday, families who visited the Heartland Museum took photos with Santa in front of a lovely holiday backdrop: Christmas trees and a beautiful little cutter, a two-person horse-drawn sleigh.

The cutter, a model built around 1900 and used by the Carpenter family near Woolstock around that time, is the subject of the “Mystery at the Museum” that has been hinted at for the last two months. The cutter was donated by Lowell Hill, the husband of Betty, Susan and J.B. Carpenter’s granddaughter. Lowell and Betty had the old, deteriorated cutter restored to fine condition, and also did a lot of research to find out where the cutter came from.

The “50-year search for answers” began when Betty’s granddaughter, Rebecca, found the brass nameplate on the back of the cutter with the name “Garland Buggy Co.” and the word “Kalamazoo” on it. The Hills searched through old newspapers, business directories, and catalogs from the Kalamazoo, Michigan area, which was something of a hub for wagon, sleigh, and buggy construction during the early 1900s.


For the full story, see the December 7 edition of the Monitor.