The Garder Buggy, as it has become known, was given to the Museum by the Herman Garder Family in the 1980’s. Although in disrepair it has always been considered a prized artifact.
In 2014, the Historical Society board chose the buggy as it’s project for the first Big Give promotion.
With the money raised from Big Give, the Museum board began to search for persons or companies who restore buggies. Logistics was a problem as was the cost of restoration. Also, it has been the policy of the Museum to use local businesses and artisans as often as possible. When the names of two Boone County residents were given to the board, they immediately made contact with both, and both agreed to take on the restoration project.
George Beierman of Albion has taken on restoration projects of all kinds for many years. He enjoys the feeling of “saving” a relic of the past. When asked if he would undertake the restoration of the buggy, he graciously said he would. It was his expertise that restored the original body, wheels, seat, and shaft. Pat Boilesen, president of the Historical Society said, “We are grateful to George for the time, labor, and the TLC he gave in restoring the buggy, and very impressed with his work.”
Susan Nissen of St. Edward has been in the upholstery business for many years. Her shop is known as “The Recovery Room” and is located at her residence in St. Edward. The list of items she has upholstered is long, but she had never taken on the task of restoring the upholstery of a buggy seat or the bow (umbrella) of a buggy. Of her work Pat said, “She accepted the challenge, and her challenge was successful. It was not an easy undertaking because of the condition of the original leather works.”
Read the complete story in the July 4 Albion News & Petersburg Press, Print and E-Editions.