Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Dunbar popcorn wagon

posted by Todd

One of the hardest parts of restoration is knowing what the artifact originally looked like. For our popcorn wagon there doesn't seem to be plans or many good examples out there to look at. I have been lucky enough to track down a couple of enthusiasts who have made Dunbar wagons their specialty. From these early conversations there seems to be less than 10 wagons in the entire country that are in excellent shape. One of the better examples happens to be in Columbus, Wisconsin which is about 3 hours north of Wagner Farm. I recently drove up to Columbus to see the wagon and document it. The Dunbar they have is actually owned by community members that chipped in to purchase the wagon and bring it back home to Columbus. Originally purchased by George Hasey in the 1920's the wagon was a Columbus fixture until Hasey's passing in the 1970's. The wagon was then bought and moved to California and later Las Vegas. All the while, the community kept tabs on the wagon's whereabouts. In the late 1990's the residents of Columbus raised enough money to bring the wagon home where it is now lovingly displayed. The wagon is a little bit newer than our model and it is shockingly completely. They even have the original receipt, all of the interior paint and the Dunbar nameplates. It seems the only incorrect alteration is the color of the carriage. It is supposed to be painted yellow, not red (the top picture is of Hasey selling popcorn in his yellow wagon in the late 1960's). Seeing it in person got me excited for our soon to start restoration plan.