Bob Lind, Published January 05 2013
Lind: Readers remember horse-drawn school wagons, or ‘hacks’
One thing is for sure: When someone brings up a topic, it very likely will click with others. Such was the case last year when Terrance “Terry” Henriksen, of Laveen, Ariz., formerly of Langdon, Calvin and Grafton, N.D., wrote to ask if anyone remembered the old horse-drawn school wagons or sleighs known as “hacks.”
Boy, did they! Neighbors and Terry received many replies, including photos: The one shown below was contributed by Hiram Drache, Fargo.
Elaine Sundby, of Rothsay, Minn., sent a photo of a hack with a note saying, though, that: “We never called it a hack; it was our ‘school bus’ at Isabel Consolidated School, rural Esmond, N.D. There was straw on the floor of the bus.”
Robert “Butch” MacArthur, originally from the Clyde, Calvin and Sarles, N.D., area and now of Fargo and of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., in the winter, says his father had a hack, made by Percy Miller, of Calvin.
“We rode to school in ours from the farm to Sarles when I was in grade school,” he says.
Butch says his dad had two teams of horses, one old one that traveled kind of slow and a younger team that went faster, so if they were in a hurry, they took the fast team.
Patrick Pringle, of Bismarck, Ryan Bryn, of Fargo, and Joe Olson, of Fargo, told Terry of websites showing hacks.
Mary Wagner, of Bismarck, sent Terry a website that includes pictures of Wisconsin hacks and this information: “The Sevastopol Consolidated School continued to operate by using sleigh buses to transport students. A sleigh bus consisted of a bobsled with a canvas top, pulled by a team of horses.”
Neighbors will run more hack memories down the road.
Meanwhile, Janyce (Zabel) Iverson, of Cooperstown, N.D., says the Stump Lake Village Pioneer Museum in Pekin, N.D., has a refurbished hack, made of wood, on display.
“I am originally from Wales, N.D.,” Janyce writes, “and I remember riding in one of those buses.
“I can only imagine what would happen if you asked a teenager of today to ride in a horse-drawn bus to school.
“There would probably be an open revolt.”
No doubt, Janyce.
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