Enfield Historical Society hosts its annual Free Pony Ride Day

By Cathi Sasportas - ReminderNews
Enfield - posted Wed., Sep. 18, 2013
Five-year-old Keira happily rides Angel the pony at the Old Town Hall Museum. The free pony rides were offered by the Enfield Historical Society. Photos by Cathi Sasportas.
Five-year-old Keira happily rides Angel the pony at the Old Town Hall Museum. The free pony rides were offered by the Enfield Historical Society. Photos by Cathi Sasportas.

You might call it a horse and pony show. The equines were the big attraction at the Old Town Hall Museum, as the Enfield Historical Society provided free horse and pony rides to children on Sunday, Sept. 15.

The museum, standing right on Route 5 in the heart of the town's historical district, has served many purposes over the years, but now houses the bulk of the Historical Society's items on exhibit. Museum volunteer Rose Sokol said the goal of the free pony rides was simply to get people to stop at the museum. "We do this every year in September," she said. "The kids seem to enjoy it, and it's just something for them - to attract them to the museum."

She said the horse and pony rides were free, just as all programs and tours of the museum are. The Old Town Hall Museum boasts three floors of exhibits.  Most of the exhibits focus on Enfield's history of inventing and manufacturing, with exhibits on textiles, farm machinery, Shaker items and even Legos. The museum is open each Sunday in May through October from 2 to 4:30 p.m. The Historical Society also maintains the Wallop School Museum and the Martha A. Parsons House.

After the children had their pony rides, many of the families took advantage of the free tours and enjoyed a stroll through the museum. The children seemed the most interested in playing with the rotary phone and vintage typewriters, both of which most of the children had never seen before.

The museum volunteers were happy to talk to the visitors about all the exhibits.  "The reason we do these things is to make sure we can get people here," said volunteer Mike Miller. "We don't want people to be afraid of the Historical Society."

The horses came from Rocky Trail Acres in Massachusetts. Sokol said they normally brought two small ponies, but this year, they brought one small pony and one large horse. Sokol said she was happy to see older children get a chance to ride the large horse this year.

Many people said they arrived at the museum by happenstance. They were attending to the Family Day put on by Enfield Public Schools on the nearby Town Green, when they saw the horses and the sign advertising the free rides. Emily McCarran did just that, bringing along her 3-year-old daughter, Lillian, and infant son. "I saw the sign, and wanted to let her have her first pony ride," McCarran said. Lillian was very excited to have a chance to ride Angel the pony. The Historical Society's plan seemed to have worked, as the pony ride drew McCarran into the museum for the first time.

You can learn more about the Enfield Historical Society and the three museums it operates by visiting the website enfieldhistoricalsociety.org.


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