Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Belair Stable Museum, Maryland

Belair's first owner, Samuel Ogle, imported two English thoroughbreds as a breeding pair in 1747. The estate began a history of thoroughbred breeding and training which was renewed in the early twentieth century. William Woodward owned Belair then. He built a stable in 1907 that still stands. In addition to being home to thoroughbreds, it was also used for carriages and riding horses. The building even has a small apartment for the stable master.

Belair Stable Museum

The very first things we saw there (after we found the geocache outside) were a few carriages and sleighs decorated for Christmas.

Surry with the fringe on the top?

Topless vehicles circa 1900

Where's an old bob-tail nag when you need one?

A corner of the carriage room is dedicated to thoroughbred breeding and racing, showing a typical lounge area with trophies and racing silks.

Horse-themed library

Trophies a plenty

Belair silks

The stable has two long extensions off the carriage building. Horses were kept in these buildings. We saw some sample stalls and equipment from horse raising and racing.

Hall of stalls

A variety of harnesses

A shovel for less glamorous duties

Gallant Fox replica

The stables had their best success in the 1930s. Their horse Gallant Fox was a triple-crown winner in 1930 (winning the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes). Five years later Gallant Fox's son Omaha won the Triple Crown, becoming the only father and son to win all three races.

Belair also had a farm and various equipment is still on display.

Farming implements

The plow and pump (a good name for a British pub?)

Another angle on the plow

Corn-husking contraption

Old-time phone!

Adjacent to the carriage room is the Stable Master's apartment. It was converted in 1923 and first occupied by James Brady and his family. He trained the horses, oversaw the stable, and drove the carriages for the estate. His wife took care of their two children and prepared meals for any day-laborers at the stables. The home looks very comfortable.

Dining room with separate entrance for the stable hands

Kitchen cabinets

My daughter hoping for a snack

The master bedroom

The nursery

The bathroom

We enjoyed our visit to the museum. It isn't very big but is informative and free. The walk from the Belair Mansion is only two block, an easy trek even in wintry weather!

Kids horsing around at the stable

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