“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Winchendon in Worcester County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)

Toy Town Horse

Toy Town Horse Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), June 20, 2020
1. Toy Town Horse Marker
The Toy Town Horse is home again. This is a reproduction of the original Toy Town Horse that stood for so long in Winchendon and helped identify Winchendon as "Toy Town."

The original Toy Town Horse was constructed in 1914 as a float for the town's 150th anniversary. Winchendon was the home of the Converse Company and the world's largest wooden toy factory. Workers from the Converse Company — Fred Dwelley, Designer; Charles Tenney, Carpenter; Jesse Bezio, Wood Turner; John Damon, Painter; spent five months constructing the horse which was a four time enlargement of the Converse Company's No. 12 Rocking Horse. The original horse took 3,200 feet of two inch pine nailed together to complete.

The horse rested at the town's railroad station for twenty years as a landmark for travelers passing through Winchendon. In 1917 the horse appeared in the Sunday edition of the "Boston American." In 1934 the horse was moved to the Toy Town Tavern property (now the Winchendon School) for thirty years at that location it was climbed on by children and well photographed.

The horse made two other notable appearances
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for which it was refurbished. In 1964 it was paraded in the town's bicentennial parade, and again in 1976 for the nation's bicentennial. After that it fell into disrepair and ruin.

Recently, the Winchendon Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with the Winchendon Historical Society, spearheaded a drive to bring back the horse as a symbol of civic pride and a focal point of our historical identity. Through the earnest efforts of the two organizations and many townspeople, funds were raised and the project became a reality.

The craftsman found to create the new horse was Sherman Labarge of Fryeburg, Maine. It took him 18 months to complete. The horse here in front of you, the New Horse made it's public debut at Winchendon's 1988 Toy Town Fourth of July celebration. It now stands in a gazebo constructed through the efforts of the Chamber of Commerce and the donation of labor and materials from Chamber members.

The horse that stands before you is a symbol of pride to the citizens of Winchendon that we wish to display to all. As it once stood at the railroad station, it now stands at the junction of two well traveled roads passing through Winchendon for all to see with the help of modern technology and the shelter we hope that people can enjoy this Toy Town Horse with us and for another seventy five years to come.
Topics. This historical marker is listed
Toy Town Horse image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), June 20, 2020
2. Toy Town Horse
in these topic lists: AnimalsArts, Letters, MusicIndustry & CommerceLandmarksRailroads & Streetcars. A significant historical year for this entry is 1914.
Location. 42° 40.916′ N, 72° 3.2′ W. Marker is in Winchendon, Massachusetts, in Worcester County. Marker is at the intersection of Front Street and School Street (Massachusetts Route 12), on the left when traveling east on Front Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 216 Front St, Winchendon MA 01475, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. World War I Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Honor Roll (approx. 0.2 miles away); Desert Storm Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Honor Roll (approx. 0.2 miles away); Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Spirit of the American Doughboy (approx. 0.2 miles away); The School Boy of 1850 (approx. 7.7 miles away); Gardner Soldiers' Monument (approx. 7.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Winchendon.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 24, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 24, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 917 times since then and 744 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 24, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Sep. 28, 2023