This is one of America’s most famous carriages. Made so by the dramatic story of its revitalization through an extensive conservation and preservation program by the Carriage Museum at Stony Brook. The carriage is featured prominently in the magnificent rotunda entryway at the Museum. It must be understood that the vehicle was not "restored" or, that is, repainted. Rather, the original colors, painting and lettering were carefully recovered through thousands of hours of painstaking cleaning and removal of various finishes that had covered up the original work. A trip to Stony Brook to see this huge Omnibus might well leave the true carriage lover breathless.
This type of large Omnibus is often called a "barge" and they were primarily used for excursions. Many of them were named after famous personalities and historical figures. Thus, the "Grace Darling" after a New England folk heroine who is said to be responsible for the 1838 rescue of ship wrecked sailors off the coast of England.
A wonderful book, mentioned below, includes some detailed interior photographs of the Grace Darling and a description of its original decoration. Apparently, the vehicle was manufactured prior to the Civil War by the Concord Carriage Builders, Concord, New Hampshire.
Photograph is taken from the The CARRIAGE COLLECTION AT THE MUSEUMS AT STONY BROOK published by the Museums at Stony Brook (1986) and used with the kind permission of the Museums.
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