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Catering to the carriage trade

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by Joseph Gresser

COVENTRY — If it hadn’t been for the green dandelion studded field, the scene Saturday at the Webster farm here would have looked like the world’s largest used carriage lot.  A good number of the many carriages, wagons, coaches, sleighs, and buggies collected by Fred Webster were lined up for sale.

Mr. Webster, who died just short of his hundredth birthday in 2021, would have been horrified by the sight.  Mr. Webster had a long career as a teacher, and in collecting historical artifacts, he had an educational purpose in mind.   He longed for his collection to be the basis for a museum showing Vermont life as it once was.

Daniel Webster, his son, acknowledged disappointment, but said a museum takes a lot of money and organization to put together.  His father, he said, was too busy collecting for that part of the work….

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