Wagon, HO ! - Step back in Time

Published in the La Vernia News on May14, 2015

Harry and Linda kaye Perez

Dennis Moore’s passion has turned into a museum and transportation business. Visit the Buggy Barn Museum in Blanco, and ride in style down memory lane in one of his horse-driven carriages!

Wagons, Ho!

Step back in Time at the Buggy Barn Museum

      In the 18th and 19th century, the horse–drawn carriage was king. Carriages, designed for comfort and elegance, were reserved for the rich or businesses such as funeral homes. A public passenger vehicle was called a stagecoach; working 4-wheeled vehicles were wagon; and two wheeled vehicles were carts. But the general terminology for all of these horse-drawn vehicles is “buggy”. Buggies started to disappear as steam engines began to generate interest. Steam power quickly won the battle against animal power. There are, of course, exceptions, such as the Amish communities or ceremonial events.

                                                    Feel like a pioneer heading “out west” as you view this cornestoga wagon

Everyday Journeys

  Harry and Linda kaye Perez

                                                                                                                                                                Head up the road

      Believe it or not, there is a museum just for buggies a short distance outside the town of Blanco, a 65-mile drive from LaVernia. After you pass through downtown Blanco, keep your eyes left or you might miss it. It is the Buggy Barn Museum and it is dedicated to the restoration and preservation of many of these treasures from the past so that all of us can experience just a small moment in time.  It is said to be the largest collection of buggies in the United States. Some of these buggies, carriages, and wagons, have been used in major motion pictures and television movies including True Grit, Lonesome Dove, Abraham Lincoln, and There Will Be Blood.  

    Dennis Moore is the driving force behind the Buggy Barn; he calls it a “labor of love”. Dennis said, “ I got my first horse, a Shetland pony, when I was six years old, along with a little cart, which I drove all over my hometown of Blanco. It became my addiction.”  Dennis is now, as we write this, on location in Louisiana with 10 horses and several buggies filming a movie about the Underground Railroad. As soon as he finishes with that, he will begin work a remake of the Magnificent Seven. Dennis has even had a few small parts in some movies along with his prized horses and buggies. 

Riding in Style

   Inside there are over 100 buggies, carriages, and wagons for you to look at- up close and personal.                        

  The Hearse came from Europe. In the 1860s it would have been drawn by either two or four black horses, and was known as the Black Brigade. The one on display here is fairly elaborate and most likely was reserved for royalty.

   The 1903 Studebaker, the largest of the Rockaway Carriages, had glass enclosures and could carry six passengers.

    The Canadian made Jump Seat Buggy could be configured in two ways- with two rows of seats or the front seat could be folded down and the main seat would slide forward over the jump seat, giving the driver more comfort. 

Working Wagons

      There are also many larger wagons outside including a stagecoach and a Conestoga wagon. The Conestoga wagon was first built by Mennonite-German settlers near the Conestoga River Valley in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in the mid 1700s. These wagons were heavily used in the westward expansion of the United States because of their load capability

                                                                        Take a Spin

    To compliment the museum, Dennis and his wife Kelly, own and operate K and D Carriages, offering carriages and costumed drivers for weddings, family reunions, proms, and Quinceañeras. They also offer 20 to 30 minute unforgettable rides in one of their buggies around the local area; $25.00 for a family of four, by appointment only.  

    Plans are already well underway to construct an entire old Western Town just behind the museum, so guests can be totally immersed in the past.  Yeeee-Ha ! 

Get There !

1915 Highway 281 North, Blanco, Texas 78606                                                 (830) 833-5708

Open Monday-Friday 8 AM to 5 PM, Saturday 9 AM to 4 PM

Admission: $8 adults; $6 seniors and military; $5 kids1 between 6-18;  5 and under are free


   © Harry Perez 2012