New carriage trail opens at Shaker Village

July 19, 2004|ANN R. HARNEY

PLEASANT HILL - The Lampton Carriage Trail at Shaker Village opened Sunday afternoon, and its namesake was on hand to cut the ribbon.

Dinwiddie Lampton Jr., 90, a longtime lover of horses and horse-drawn vehicles, was joined by friends of his and Shakertown's to open the four-mile trail. While Lampton stood beside the roadway where the horses, carriages and their drivers paraded, each said "Thank you, Mr. Lampton."

During the champagne brunch at the West Lot area of Shakertown, Susanna Thomas told Lampton and those gathered for the event that the trail has been a dream of hers for many years and the dream does not stop with the trail that opened Sunday

"We want a 15-mile network, she said.

Mother Nature almost kept the trail from opening Sunday. James Thomas, president and CEO of Shakertown and Susanna Thomas' husband, said the four inches of rain the region received Friday night and early Saturday morning almost was disasterous.


"It almost washed away," he said.

Members of the Shakertown Board of Trustees were on hand to help celebrate the new feature at the historic Mercer County site.

Most of the trail is gravel, although some of it is part of the asphalt roadway. The trail was designed for small carriages pulled by one or two horses. About 10 such carriages made the first official ride around the trail.

Lampton has a large collection of carriages, small and large, and James Thomas invited him to come back with one of his carriages and horse teams to travel the trail that bears his name.

The owner of Elmendorf Farm on Paris Pike in Fayette County, Lampton still shows at the Kentucky State Fair, the Junior League Horse Show, and Rock Creek Horse Show.

The Shaker trail's terrain ranges from flat to gently rolling hills and a couple of steeper hills. It crosses one concrete bridge, and there is an optional creek crossing. Where the road is paved, the carriages have to share the roadway with motorized vehicles.

In a brochure proved by industrialist Ralph Anderson, there is a map of the trail and a description of the area.

The trail travels along Shawnee Run Creek and near the Shaker mill sites on which the Shakers first organized in Mercer County in 1806, the brochure says. The trail also passes by the Shaker cemetery and an area restored with native warm season grasses and wildflower prairies.

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