Oh, What Fun,
It is to Ride,
In a one-horse
No one rides in sleighs anymore, one-horse or otherwise, unless they are at some Winter Carnival or Festival. But 158 years ago, everyone traveled by sleighs during the winter months, the slick, metal runners cutting through the snow. And the winter of 1855-56 was a very snowy, protracted winter.
More than a little bored, the residents of northeast Ohio turned to friendly competition to stir up a little excitement. The idea was that the township or county who arrived at a given destination with the MOST four-horse teams was the winner. And the prize? A muslin banner featuring a rustic man thumbing his nose and the words "You Can't Come It" on it. The prize was passed back and forth during February and March of 1856, with various winners through-out. On March 14, 462 sleighs converged on Richfield. Summit County was the winner with 171 teams. They took home the banner.
A few days later, Medina County sent out a challenge. "Beat us if you can!" And on March 18th, 182 Medina teams pulled into Akron, capturing the banner. That very day, the weather turned and there were no more sleighing days.
|Western Reserve Magazine Nov-Dec 1980, p.25|
Medina kept the banner. Some say that over time, the banner was lost or destroyed. But going through the library's clippings file revealed a very different ending for the banner. Purportedly, the banner was brought out for local festivities, including the Centennial Celebration on 4th of July 1876. After that it disappeared. But a January 29, 1964 article in the Daily Leader Post says that during that 4th of July celebration, the banner was presented to the Summit County Board of Agriculture "for safekeeping."
So, did they keep it safe? Is it still in their possession in Akron?? I have contacted the Summit County Fair Board to see if they have any record of the banner. Stay tuned for further developments...