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Famous carriage builder to be honoured in Bayfield, Ont.

A mint-condition “Landau” horse carriage, built in Bayfield, Ont. decades ago, has finally made its way home.

“We secured it about three months ago from a lady down South who volunteered to sell it to us because she felt it should be in Bayfield. It is part of Bayfield’s heritage, after all,” said Bayfield Lion’s Club member Ian Matthew.

Custom carriages and wagons are famous in Bayfield because of Tom Penhale. The Bayfield farmer started building heavy horse wagons in the late 1970s as a hobby.

That hobby grew into an international wagon and carriage business that saw Penhale creations at Hawaiian resorts, in the Rose Bowl Parade, and famously, at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

“He got a lot of recognition for that one, and that certainly was a feather in his cap for business, that worked out very well,” said Penhale’s son Rick.

Tom Penhale passed away in 2010, but his legacy lives on in his custom wooden creations known around the globe for their intricacy and opulence.

Tom Penhale, the founder of Penhale Wagon and Carriage Works of Bayfield, seen in this undated photo. (Source: Bayfield Lions Club)

One of those carriages will now find a permanent home along Bayfield’s Main Street as a monument to one of the people that put Bayfield on the map.

“We decided we would build a two cow barn, which is kind of historic and unique to Bayfield. So, we’re going to build that to house the carriage. It’ll be right off Main Street. It’ll be visible from Main Street and it’ll be all glass in the front, so people can come in and see it,” said Matthew.

The Bayfield Lion’s Club and Bayfield Historical Society hope to raise $45,000 to build a home for Penhale’s carriage, and have it built in time for next year’s tourist season. A permanent reminder of the impact one man, and his vision, had on his hometown.

“It’s all very near and dear to my father’s heart. He would be absolutely blown away if he knew that this was happening right now,” said Rick Penhale, who helped build carriages alongside his father for years.

You can learn more about the Penhale project, by following this link.

Penhale’s Wagon and Carriage Works built a wagon in 1983. It’s still used at DisneyWorld now. (Source: Bayfield Lions Club) Top Stories

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