Wagons ho

Steer yourself to Raymond's Northwest Carriage Museum

When Janice Johnston first visited Raymond, Washington's Northwest Carriage Museum, which opened in 2002, the black one-seater on exhibit reminded her of her grandfather, headed out of his ranch at full trot. "He had a sheepdog, and that old dog had to run like crazy to keep up with him," she says.

Now Johnston volunteers one day a week at the museum, which houses more than two dozen 19th-century horse-drawn buggies, wagons, and coaches. They're all part of the private collection of Raymond residents Gary and Cecilia Dennis, who donated the carriages to their hometown in 1999. Among the collection are a spacious C-Spring Landau and sprinkler wagons, which were used to wet the streets of frontier towns in order to keep down the dust. There's even a wheelwright shop, where kids can help build a spoked wheel.

The only thing that could possibly make the place more lifelike? A sprinting sheepdog.

Where the wagons are

10-4 Wed-Sat, noon-4 Sun; $3. 314 Alder St., Raymond, WA; www.nwcarriagemuseum.org or 360/942-4150. ― Steven R. Lorton