Most people’s idea of the West is greatly shrouded in folklore due to romanticization. It can be said that the romanticism of the West started as early as the Lewis and Clark expedition (1804-1806). For the United States, the West was used as a way to personify the American dream, manifest destiny, and the rugged nature of the land.
The “Free Spirits at Noisy Water” sculpture by local bronze artist Dave McGary was installed in July 1995. The eight horse one and a half life-size sculpture represents seven horse breeds – the Standardbred, Morgan, Arabian, Paint (mare and foal), Appaloosa, Quarter Horse, and Thoroughbred.
One of the Museum’s most prized collections is our horse-drawn vehicles collection. The exhibit features carriages, wagons, and carts. Along with the wagons, this exhibit also features several different saddles.
Stradling began her extensive collection at age six when she nailed up a bit and a broken stirrup in an empty box stall in the barn. She continued collecting all through her youth and took her collection with her throughout her travels and marriages.
The origins of the “carousel” can be traced back to the 12th century when European Crusaders observed Turks and Arabs in the Middle East racing horses in a circle while tossing scented balls back and forth.