By: John Eidenier∼MRC Board Member∼
A
t the turn of the twentieth century, Montrose, being the County seat of Susquehanna County, brought in many visitors. Some came to appear before the court, others to represent those appearing. With judges, lawyers, doctors, merchants, and vibrant churches, Montrose was a busy town in the hills of Pennsylvania.

Prior to the automobile, the horse was the main power that transported travelers from the railroad station to the local hotels. Many of these travelers rode in on their own horse or by horse and carriage. Those that came to town by way of railroad (aka Iron Horse) were picked up by a horse and carriage that was operated by the hotel they patronized.

There were several hotels serving Montrose in those early days. One such hotel, at the corner of Public Avenue and Maple Street, was named the Curtis Hotel. It was a two story hotel, but it later became the Tarbell House (see photo), when a third story was added. The hotel provided stable accommodations for its guests and what was once the stable is now C & F Motors.

The stable also sold coal, and in the back was an ice house, which was the refrigeration used in local homes and businesses. The business slowly evolved into a motor repair place for horseles carriages. By the early 1900’s, horses were a diminishing sight as more and more automobiles came into use. What is left of the stable is the building, C&F Motors, which has a proud history of serving the transportation needs of Montrose.

Visitors to Montrose can still find signs of when the horse was the main means of transportation. A pleasant walk around the town will reveal many horse/carriage barns belonging to some of the older homes, and there still remains a number of hitching posts, one of which can be found on Drinker Street. The post on Drinker is very lovely as it is in the shape of a swan’s head and neck. a graceful anachronism stirring memories of a time when horses were a necessity.

Nowadays horses are still seen in parades or riding stables or fairgrounds, but for the most part, they are owned by horse enthusiasts and the stables that super this interest. One such stable was the Scottfield Stables* which was owned by Alicia Owens. It is my understanding that Scottfield Stables is no longer in existence but back in its heyday, around 2015, two young riders made a name for themselves in Oklahoma City by winning championships in the Morgan brad equitation rider competition.

Audra Lee won the Reserve Grand National Saddle Seat Equitation 13 and under Championship and also the World Junior Saddle Seat Equitation Championship. Both horse and rider performed brilliantly. The horse was a Morgan of course and had the name of CBMF Random Hearts, a six-year-old bay mare.

Alicia Owens also coached Sarah Hecht, who came in third in the Reserve Grand National Junior Exhibits Park Saddle 15 and under World Championship. Like Audra, Sarah rode with great skill on a horse that took her to third place. That horse was Dargonsmeade Varvatos, an 11-year-old gelding.

Many local carriage houses have been renovated or remodeled for use as offices or apartments or garages. While they no longer stable horses or carriages, they do lend a complementary rustic beauty to a town with colonial roots. They help to anchor our reverence for Montrose’s proud past. Shown below are some of the carriage barns that you may come across as you take a stroll in our town nestled in the mountains of Pennsylvania.

SOURCES:

*Information of the Scottfield Stables comes from Google Search, pictures of the horse and riders may be found through the search of Google.

Many thanks to Betty Smith and the Susquehanna Historical Society for their help in providing information.

Many thanks to C&F Motors for providing information when their building was once used as a stable.

Photos, unless otherwise stated, are by John B. Eidenier