By Loren Weiss
When you hear the word “bus”, a picture instantly appears in most people’s minds: a long vehicle filled with seats, not exactly fun to drive behind. Back in the very beginnings of the Congregational Summer Assembly, though, the bus was a horse-drawn cart that brought CSA members to and from Frankfort.
Horses had the utmost importance when it came to transportation in the early 1900’s since there were no automobiles yet. They played many roles at the CSA, the bus included; and although not much is known about them, an anecdote passed from person to person gives us a clue of how - and where - these horses lived.
Jane Way Baker first heard about the Lake Michigan stables from Carter Davidson years ago, but thought little of it; it was only this year that she remembered and retold the story as she’d heard it. Once upon a time, the space that is now the Lake Michigan tennis courts used to be the stables that housed some of CSA’s horses. These horses were said to be used to transport building materials up the hill for the construction of the Davidson cottage nearby.
Another clue about where more horses could have stayed is Equarry Rd, a street close to the woods tennis courts. The definition of an “equerry” is an officer who has charge over the stables, which points to the conclusion that there were more stables in that area at some point. The existence of these past stables is proof enough that horses played an essential role in Assembly transportation back before automobiles started arriving in the 1910’s.
Unfortunately, the Archives don’t have much more information about the stables, so any further knowledge would be greatly appreciated - any readers who know more can drop in at Pilgrim Place from 10-12 on Wednesdays or email Jane Cooper at