As promised last week, this week, we take a look at “Sandy the Trotter.”
Last week, we told about the “Shindacher,” a horse cemetery on St. Rose Road, two miles east of Highland, on the west side of Bluebird Lane.
Russ Hoffman wrote a column, “The Shindacher & Big Sandy,” in The Shooper’s Review on Oct. 30, 2001 about Sandy, which I will be using here with permission from Jeff Stratton, owner of The Shoppers Review. Thanks, Jeff.
Here’s what Russ had to say: “The horse’s name was ‘Sandy,’ but Dr. Albert H. Kyle, Highland veterinarian, called his famous trotter, ‘Big Sandy.’ So we have found out the name of Dr. Kyle’s most famous trotter, ‘Sandy,’ which once raced around the sulky track.
“The old, wooden grandstand was also used for baseball games of the Highland Merchants, Highland Reds, the O’Rieke’s, and many other teams. For over 50 years, the Khoury League of Highland, sponsored juvenile baseball, and they also used the four ball fields, plus many other fields, there. Highland schools have also played and practiced football, soccer, softball, and their outdoor gym classes. I believe that block still belongs to the Helvetia Sharpshooters, and they use it for farm displays and parking for the Madison County Fair in July.
“The fellow with the information, Harry Mueller, had just come from the breakfast/coffee session at the local restaurant, where all world problems are solved every morning and all questions are answered after a full and heated discussions.
“On that particular morning, some of the fellows had read the column in the The Shopper’s Review about Sandy and the Highland Race Track that once graced a large area in the ‘Paris Addition,’ where Dr. A.H. Kyle raced his champion trotter. I couldn’t remember the trotter’s name, but Harry and his friends could.
“Fabulus ‘Sandy’ raced unbeaten in county and state fairs around the turn of the 19th Century. Dr. Kyle could sit by the hour and relate tales of his ‘Sandy’ and the races he won. It seems that few newspapers bothered much about printing Dr. Kyle’s ‘Big Sandy’ stories. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch did one in 1943, and I had one in 1992, and then this one in 2001. This 1992 story came to mind recently when I talked to an old Highlander about county fairs around the 1900s.”
Grantfork Centennial & Highland Home Museum
On a couple side notes, the Grantfork Centennial was held over the weekend. Lorna and I were there for the opening ceremonies, and I visited all of the exhibits.
I want to thank all of the Centennial committees and workers for a job well done. You can be proud of your accomplishments. Everything exceeded my expectations. The Grantfork Centennial Book by Lawrence Schwarz, plus all of his helpers, is a real treasure for Grantfork.
Also, the Highland Home Museum will be open Saturday, Oct. 7, with the first tour at 1:30 p.m. and last tour at 3:30. I hope you will come and enjoy the one of a kind museum of Highland and area towns, including Alhambra, New Douglas, Sorento, Old Ripley, Pocahontas, Pierron, Millersburg, Jamestown, St. Rose, St. Morgan, St. Jacob, Marine, Kaufman Station and Grantfork. Lorna has over 3,800 items on the museum computer, including almost 2,000 photos, and over 525 people have already donated items to the museum.
The Highland Home had a ceramic pitcher and matching green and cream washbowl, like they used to have on the old-time washstands before homes had running water. This bowl has the bottom engraved and reads,” Made on “Feb. 4, 1979 for ‘Bea’s’ birthday, with Love from Gladys.” Do you know of a “Bea” who had a Feb. 4 birthday or a Gladys who made or might have purchased this ceramic set?
If you can come up with a photo of the old track, races, or “Sandy” or any other information, call, me 618-654-5005 or 618-303-0082. Or, if you have something old or something almost new from Highland or an area town, for our museum? Please give me a call before Saturday.