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Livery Feed and Sale

livery_feed_sale.jpg (5287 bytes)

This building is a replica of an old style livery barn which was built by the museum staff in 1973.

The livery stable was the pioneer counterpart of our modern service station. A symbol of prestige in every pioneer community was the presence of a livery. (In fact, it was just an unwritten rule that every pioneer town of any distinction just had to have a livery stable!) Therefore, in the 1880s the term "one horse town" filtered into our language meaning a town that didn’t have an adequate population of either horses or humans to justify a livery and didn’t have much to offer.

The livery stable was a place where horses were kept for hire and where space was rented for the temporary keep of horses. A farmer, in town for the afternoon especially in the winter months, would rent a space for the shelter and feeding of his team.

The double stalls have built-in oat boxes, the back stall being used to store hay as there is no hay loft. Near the front doors are two small rooms. One is the office where the records of payment and also owners’ instructions as to the care of their horses are kept. A small wood stove warms this room and foot warmers for their use in buggies and sleighs are on hand, these being filled with warm coal before departure.

Opposite the office is a storeroom where the oat box is kept - oats were so expensive so the operator wanted it where he could keep an eye on it. In this room the necessary ointments and other medicinal supplies are kept for any care not requiring a veterinarian’s attention.

A two-seater buggy has been left with the manager to care for the day, as well as a couple of saddles.

The livery stable would have horses, wagons and backboards for rent. The manager would trim the horse hooves, groom and feed the horses, as well as making minor repairs on the wagons or harnesses. He would often trade his services for a supply or oats or hay.

Copyright 1997-2000 Manitoba Agricultural Museum
This page last revised April 25, 2000