"What do a fat bird sculpture by Botero, a Pitcairn
plane formally owned by actor Steve McQueen, and a
steam powered popcorn wagon have in common? They are
all one of a kind pieces in the Joseph A. Hardy art
collection and are on display at his palatial
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort & Spa in Farmington,
PA. The last item, a restored popcorn wagon, was manufactured
by C. Cretors and Company circa 1908. In the early
twentieth century these working wagons could be purchased
for just over eight hundred dollars. However, in 2003
to get the wagon in working condition again Hardy
spent over forty thousand dollars. This is the only
known model to still be operational. Through the use
of steam power and propane, the wagon can pop corn
and roast peanuts as it did nearly one hundred years
The preceding comments are from Sheryl Jordan,
Equestrian manager of Nemacolin. Our Driving School
instruction occasionally takes place away from home.
She was aware of our crew training for the Mountain
Lake Hotel so we went up to Nemacolin in 2003 to work
with their teamsters and horses. Following that, we
had a request to find two black teams for the resort.
One quiet Percheron team came from
our friend Ray Kisamore's
place west of Staunton VA, and the other from Roscoe
Goode. I was astonished when he said he'd part
with Jeff and David, but we both know
they will live in style at Nemacolin Woodlands!
We appreciate the more-recent comments from the 2008 Nemacolin crew who came to Bundoran to retrain, too. Those were three days of hard work and great fun!
Ms. Jordan continues: "The wagon, restored by Elam Fisher
and decorated by Kathy Peace,
made its premier at the 84 Lumber Classic golf tournament
in September 2003 and made periodic appearances throughout
the week. Although Hurricane Isabel delivered an onslaught
of rain and high winds, the equestrian center staff
managed to drive it around for the spectators to enjoy.
The black Percheron team was used as the engine to
pull this vehicle around the Laurel Highlands.
"Despite their tremendous size and power, the
team was extremely calm and willing to work. These
are important traits considering that many golf spectators
spent time feeding the horses their freshly purchased
peanuts and stroking their manes. The spectators seemed
more impressed with the horses than the vintage wagon.
"Some of the common questions were: How big are
they? What does eighteen hands mean? How much do they
weigh? Is that a ton? How much do they eat? Is that
"Even though the storms and extreme traffic (both
vehicular and spectator) were high, it went off without
a "hitch." The entire experience was made
successful by the well trained staff and horses...overseen
by Fred Scott. I'm sending you my heartfelt gratitude
for finding us such wonderful teams of Percherons.
Thank you, Fred, for being part of the success! We
could not have done it without you!"
Nemacolin is high in the Laurel Highlands
of western Pennsylvania. The hotel has been open for
years and is a delightful place to visit. Cool in
the summer, with miles of walking trails, it's perfect
for a honeymoon, quiet vacation or just for a Spa
treatment. We love it there. For reservations, give
them a call: 800.422.2736 or visit their home page