Tuesday, April 7, 2015


We interrupt
 our regularly scheduled broadcast
 to bring you this bulletin just in...

It is raining here at 8:30 am...

No, wait...

...it is snowing here at 10:00 am.

It started raining sometime
 while we were all tucked in bed 
and continued throughout the night
 and into the morning
 as the Captain was walking the dogs.

As we left the shelter around 10:00
 it started snowing 
and by the time we...

...stopped at Starbucks
 it was sticking.

When we arrived home
 this is what the front yard 
and the roof looked like.

View out of the parlor bay window.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming...

This is our No. 4 Roller Bearing
 Auto-Wheel Coaster wagon
 made by the Buffalo Sled Company,
 North Tonawanda, New York,
 in the early 1900's.

We traded this wagon 
around 45 years ago
 from an antiques dealer. 
 He asked the Captain to do some repair work for him
 and said he would trade us the wagon
 because he thought it was made
 out of pine and didn't want it.
 As it turned out the wagon
is made out of oak.

 Since that time
 it has been in use as our resident
 living room coffee table.
  It has seen a few transformations over time as to its appearance,
 and has always remained a subject of interest
 for all who see it.

All information and advertisements provided by Google, courtesy of the North Tonawanda History Museum.

The Buffalo Sled Company 
began operations in 1889 in Buffalo, New York
 and later moved to North Tonawanda, New York in 1904. 
 The company remained in operation at that site
 until a fire in 1920
 destroyed the wheel department and storehouses.
  They rebuilt and remained in business
 until filing bankruptcy in 1964. 
 In 1965, the company was operating 
under the name Auto Wheel Industries, 
and another fire in 1972,
 considered the worst in the city's history, demolished the building
 along with seven homes. 
 A preliminary investigation supported the theory 
that the fire was intentionally started.

The Auto Wheel Coaster Company 
was known through its entire 60 years of operation
 for its superior quality. 
 They made all of their products by hand
 and, for this reason, 
they eventually went out of business.

During it's lifetime the company sponsored many contests...

...and pictured many children
 having fun with the products.
Wagons were described as providing
three full seasons a year
 of boyish fun on four steel-tired,
 wooden-spoked wheels
 so like those on automobiles of the day
 that they gave the wagon its name...
A boy without an Auto-Wheel Coaster
 in those days
 couldn't have really lived.

...and did you notice 
that it is only marketed
 to the 'boys'?

I have always wondered
 how our wagon was used,
 how many little hands pulled it along
 by that handle, 
and could it have been a prize
 that was won in a contest...

...this is one wagon
 that was not won in a contest. 
 This one was hand made by my dad. 
 He made it out of an old wooden box
 and wheels
 for his dog, Brownie, to pull.
  Here they both are shown,
 probably around 1920. 
 I wish I could say
 that I had the wagon now.

I mentioned before 
that our wagon has gone through some transformations
 over the years.

It was just a plain wagon 
when we purchased it 
and we used it as a coffee table,
 holding magazines and the occasional jug of flowers. 
 It collected more magazines
 then we had first intended 
plus crumbs from various snacks...

...so we added 
a piece of glass on top
 and that seemed to collect mostly fingerprints 
so for use in the new 
'work in progress' sitting room, 
the Captain added a top
 of left over wainscotting
 that was used in another project
 at the Cottage.

I love how it turned out. 
 It looks like it was made for the wagon
 and reminds me
 of an old luggage transporter
 awaiting duty at
 the train depot.

I can't wait until it is ready for the reveal...

...just a small hint...stay tuned.


By the time I finished this post...

...look at the poor lilacs,

 I'm not complaining.

Sharing today at:


  1. OMGosh I can't believe you got snow all over your beautiful spring flowers!!! Oh and I love your little wagon/coffee table and that picture of your father and his sweet little dog. Your father looks so proud of his box wagon and Brownie looks so happy to be charged with the task of pulling it along. Hope your lilacs survive the sudden snow Judy!
    XO Barbara

  2. I love your wagon! What a treasure, and you get to use it, too. Thanks for a lovely post. Visiting from Roses of Inspiration.

  3. Hi Judy! Such a great piece and I just love the history of your wagon. The wood top turned out wonderfully. I also enjoyed seeing your dad's wagon - wouldn't that be the treasure to have? Lucky you to have a picture of it and a sweet story. Lilacs are tough, so hopefully the s snow will melt soon. Jane

  4. That's the loveliest wagon and I enjoyed reading about it's history. Your cottage is very charming by the way.

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  5. What crazy, crazy, crazy weather, Judy!! Cray-cray as the kids say! That wagon that you traded for is a really wonderful old piece. I bet you have loved that over the years. It is too bad that you don't have that little wagon your dad made. Isn't that a great picture of him, though? Love it.

    Hope you have a great night- xo Diana

  6. Your weather is crazy! Spring is good for being crazy here in Colorado. Never leave home without a coat.
    Write that wagon coffee table of yours is amazing and you have refinished it beautifully. What a trade.
    Your dad and his dog with the wagon is adorable. What a keepsake that would have been to have that little beauty.
    Such a fun post.
    Have a wonderful week.

  7. I just love your wagon - and the ads are so cute. Wouldn't it be fun to know if your wagon had once been a prize - fun to think about. I can't wait to see all that you are doing in this room. The top for the wagon is super! Snow wow - at least you are getting some precipitation.

  8. My goodness, that picture of your dad as a young boy, is just precious! I love his 'newsboy' cap {or flat cap}!!
    It really turned into a winter wonderland there. Our forecast predicts that your wet weather is headed our way..... wonder if we'll see snow as well.
    Your wagon is awesome!! I too would wonder about the previous owner{s}..... and how they used the wagon.
    Kids always had wagons; back in the day. Although, now a days, you don't see too many kids pulling a wagon.
    Let your hubby know, I think the wood top for the wagon is so nice!

    Have a great day!

  9. We got some rain yesterday...but no snow. It has also been cooler which down here is very welcome.

    Love your wagon, it is adorable and perfect as a coffee table.The wood top is just the right touch.

  10. Your snow and rain pictures are quite pretty, Judy. I know it may not seem too pretty being right in the middle of it :)

    What a fabulous wagon, my dear, and how unique and clever to use it as a coffee table. And may I just say the image of your dad is precious!

    Thanks for sharing with Roses of Inspiration. Hugs to you!

  11. Hi Judy, This is such an interesting post!! I love your wooden Auto Wheel Coaster! I've never heard of these, but our son has a red, Radio Flyer wagon that he got for his second or third birthday. We use it now for working in the yard. I think making a coffee table out of your wagon is a wonderful idea. I love the wainscoting top; as you said, it looks like it was made for the wagon. I can't wait to see your sitting room reveal!!

    I love the picture of your dad and his dog pulling the homemade wagon. That is the sweetest image!! You were lucky to find all those great advertisements for the old Auto Wheel Coasters; they were great fun to read. :-D

    Have a wonderful week, Judy (what's left of it)!


    Denise at Forest Manor

  12. What a sweet little wagon with a big history. And they were made in Ontario, Canada too! It's a great keepsake and I like the new look of the top which should help protect it. Looking forward to the reveal. Pam

  13. We would be more than happy to take some of that snow to help our crops in Central California. Love the wagon, it's a great piece for anywhere people can see it. Coming form Feathered Nest.

  14. What a beautiful home. Love the pictures of the wagons.

  15. That wagon is just lovely! But, your "cottage" ... that is fabulous! I MUST check around your blog for more photos. (Thanks for visiting me at followyourheartwoodworking)

  16. Love your blog, love to invite you to Fabulous Friday Party
    Thanks Maria

  17. That is one magnificent wagon Judy - those wheels !!!
    And I love the planked top - it's perfect - looks like a " covered " wagon now LOL !
    Loved reading the history and seeing antique photos - what a great post !
    That photo of your house ? With the snow? Should be a painting - I'd buy it !
    Ok - how many more exclamation posts can I fit in a comment?
    You'd be amazed !

  18. Hi dear Judy,
    I am slowly catching up with blogs.
    Your photos of the snow falling on Gold country cottage - like a fairytale photo.
    The story of your wagon coffee table is amazing.
    You showed some great old photos of the children using them and them being used to deliver..
    Your re model so far looks super.
    will be watching out for the update.
    love val xxx

  19. The weather has been crazy. The poor lilacs though and all the other plants.
    I love that wagon. That is too cool and that picture of your dad with the dog and wagon is just precious.
    I have very few pictures of my mom or dad. The pictures of my mom burned when she was around 12 and I think my half sister has some pictures of my dad. I don't remember ever seeing any growing up.

  20. Your home looks so pretty in the snow. love seeing those vintage pictures . I do really like that wagon as a coffee table.

  21. I love this post you shared at my last Fabulous Friday, will feature one of the photos on Fabulous Friday this weekend, please stop by
    Thanks Maria

  22. That wagon is amazing! I'd love something like that, but I don't dare have furniture with wheels until my boys are a whole lot older. Right now they're old enough to know better, but I know someone (probably me) would get hurt.


Your comments are so special to me...Judy