Thursday, January 6, 2011

Goat Cart

Well, after yesterday's post, I figured I better lighten things up a little before losing all my readers. So, today we examine one of the often overlooked uses for goats . . . transportation. The picture above was taken in 1915, and the little girl pictured is my Grandmother, Elizabeth Elder. She is pictured next to her dandy goat cart, and halter trained transportation goat.

In looking at this picture, I was wondering if it was unusual, or if other people halter trained goats to pull wagons and carriages. What I found was that at the turn of the last century, it was quiet common.

The picture above was taken in 1904, and shows children in Goat Carriages in Central Park, in New York City. Similarly, the image below was taken at Coney Island in about 1900, and shows goat-drawn Surrey Wagons.

I am really impressed with this goat mode of transport and am thinking that perhaps I should procure a team of wagon-trained goats, get myself a little Surrey, and be in the parade next summer. Perhaps then people would finally begin to take me seriously as a Gentleman Farmer.


  1. Yes, they would take you seriously as a Gentleman Farmer.
    I think they would be so serious that they would fall over hold their sides and rolling on the ground with laughter, and then you would have to pay for their torn clothes and bruises.
    But hey, you go for it. I think it would be cute as heck. But get your daughter to drive the cart.

    I guess using the goats carriages would be fairly safe , no big run away or stampedes.

  2. PJM:

    This is totally off the current topic, but I have been away from the blog for a while and just read about your sewage overflow problem on New Year's Day.

    You and your family are very lucky that you did not become seriously ill from coming into contact with untreated raw sewage. Cleaning that stuff is something usually best left to professional cleaning companies.

    Although we have city sewers where we live, backups into houses sometimes occur if the lines in the street are blocked or if there isn't a backflow valve on the main line to the house. Most times people have to vacate the house and call a disaster restoration team. Otherwise you can spread bacteria all over the place.

    A few years ago, we had a highly publicized lawsuit against the city I live in because they failed to maintain the lines on a certain street, and raw sewage backed up into a family's homne. Of course, the problem was exacerbated by the fact that they had installed plumbing (i.e., a bathroom) in the basement themselves without using a licensed plumber or obtaining a permit.

    In any event, they tried to clean it themselves and ended up contaminating the entire house, which eventually had to be condemned. The entire family became very ill, with rashes, sores, and fevers.

    They eventually abandoned the house and sued the city, which had to settle because they had failed to maintain the sewer lines - they were clogged with tree roots.

    Then some brave person bought the house from forclosure and tore it out to the studs and then rebuilt it.

    Another time, two workers at the city sewage plant fell into one of the treatment tanks and one died - but not from drowning, from massive infections.

    You need to be very careful with that stuff, yuk.

  3. Woah Smartgirl, here we are enjoying the reprieve from goat genetalia in PJM's "light hearted" post and then suddenly there's sewage everywhere!

  4. I found your blog this morning through a link shared by "chasblogs"... it was my first visit to his blog and my first visit to yours and I was thrilled to see this photo of this Angora goat hitched to a cart right at the top of your page! I had dreamed of a goat cart for quite some time and made mine by retrofitting a large yardcart. I had a russet harness made by a local harness maker and we won the "Heritage Award" with this entry in our local Swiss Festival. Parade. I thought you would like to see such a turnout from modern times.


    Sorry if that link was broken in text, let me try again with the tinyurl.

  6. I would suggest that you not use West Texas goats, PJM, because the goats I dealt with in the 50's in Sierra Blanca did not have the smarts to not get tangled up in a fence around a 1 section pasture. Their attention span was measured in parts of a second and they moved spastically when approached.

    Putting one or two tame goats on a wagon would be a show-stopper if you were willling to train them for a year before the parade.

    But doing it would make you THE gentleman farmer of the county.


  7. Tonia O'UvaldeJanuary 6, 2011 at 8:53 AM

    Another idea we've been playing with for our country farm is clicker training our animals to put on a "Farmerly Circus" type show. I can see having a goat pull a cart during it. Thanks for the idea.

  8. I can't tell you how badly I want a goat wagon.

  9. Tonia O'UvaldeJanuary 6, 2011 at 9:32 AM

    Was browsing Craigslist. I wish I was set up so I could buy and use this:

  10. I would say to go for it - would go over great in the July 4 parade. Just keep in mind that goats love to climb, which would include your truck, your wife's car & even your new tractor.

  11. I can picture you, PJM, in your goat cart along with a very Gentleman Farmer styled hat. It would be perfect!

  12. Delightful post, thanks! (Beautiful child/grandmother!)

  13. Gorgeous goat in the first photo.

    However, did they have Photoshop in 1915? It looks like the little girl is standing there with no feet.

    Funny comment, Distilled, made me lol.

  14. Thanks for the wonderful pictures...Goat Cart ? I'v never seen the goat vehicles in here...Wonderful!

  15. built ram tough! (sorry, couldn't help myself)

  16. My daddy was born in 1909 and was the youngest of 7 kids (mostly boys). The older ones set him up with a goat, harness, wagon and everything. He used to tell me how that goat would be running around then head for the porch. It was high enough for the goat to run under, but short enough to knock Daddy off the wagon. Apparently it happened over and over. I have a wonderful picture of him and the goat and wagon which terribly embarrassed him. It was taken about 1913 or 14.

    Loved this post.

  17. @ Joe in NC, the little girl is wearing black, high top shoes, which blend into the background.

  18. Old World Wisconsin (nineteenth century agriculture and immigration museum) has a goat treadmill. It is just like a horse treadmill but smaller in scale. The goat would walk on the treadmill to churn butter, rotate a sharpening stone, etc.


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