Sleigh, dog sled rides planned for Wade House weekends

By the last quarter of the nineteenth century, there were nearly as many styles of sleighs and cutters as there were wheeled vehicles. Elegant, coachman-driven sleighs had bodies like formal carriages similar to the vis-v -vis sleigh in this photo.

Outdoor winter fun will be featured at Wade House this February. The excitement will begin with Wade House’s sleigh ride weekends, which are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 14 & 15 and Feb. 21 & 22.

Horse-drawn sleigh rides will be offered every thirty minutes from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturdays and from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Sundays.

The winter fun will continue on Saturday, Feb. 28 when representatives of the Door County Sled Dogs will be offering dog sled rides at the Wade House.

The sight of colorful sleighs and the sound of sleigh bells breaking the snowy silence were commonplace during cold winter months in the late 19th century.

Sleigh rides were one of the joys of winter with sleighing parties often organized by family and friends for an opportunity to socialize.

On Wade House sleigh ride weekends, guests will be invited to climb aboard a horse-drawn sleigh (or wagon) for a ride through the northern reaches of the Kettle Moraine State Forest.

These rides will be free with regular admission to the museum. Sleigh ride reservations are suggested and will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis.

On sleigh ride weekends, guests will also be able to see Wesley W. Jung’s wonderful collection of sleighs, bob sleds, cutters and coasting bobs in the carriage museum.

In the nineteenth century, traveling by horse-drawn sleigh was the preferred means of transportation during the cold winter months.

The oldest full-size vehicle in the collection happens to be a bobsled built by Jacob Jung, Sr., founder of the Jung Carriage Company, which visitors won’t want to miss.

The sled retains it original finish, lettering and striping, showing the artistry of decorating even utilitarian vehicles. Its light construction and narrow lazy backs are typical of the prevailing styles of the early to mid-1870s. The curved dash shows the wood bending skills of carriage and sleigh makers of the time.

Outdoor winter fun at Wade House historic site will continue on Saturday, Feb. 28,

On February 28th, Door County Sled Dogs will offer dog sled rides at Wade House. Advance reservations are required.

Representatives of the Door County Sled Dogs will be at Wade House to present a program and offer dog sled rides. The program, which will last approximately one hour, will introduce the audience to the Door County Sled Dog rescue program, dog sledding and the equipment used in this exciting sport. Guests will get to see a sled up close as well as interact with members of the dog team.

After the formal program, Door County Sled Dogs will offer dog sled rides. Reservations are required for the dog sled rides. Admission to attend the program and take a dog sled ride is $20 per person and must be paid in advance. Admission to attend the Dog Sled Program only is $5 per person. Admission to the museum will be free with the purchase of a program ticket.

If you have any questions about either of these programs or would like to make reservations, please call 920-526-3271.

The Wade House historic site is one of 12 Wisconsin Historical Society historic sites and museums.


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