Long Island's Hidden Past: Horse-drawn carts, carriages and buggies

STONY BROOK -

Before the automobile, there was the horse-drawn carriage. For centuries Long Islanders depended on this mode of transportation.

News 12 Long Island's Danielle Campbell and Photojournalist Brian Endres take a spin back in time to Long Island's Hidden Past.

In 19th century America, horse-drawn vehicles were "the way to go."

The early Long Island roads were very difficult - roads at various times could be consumed with mud - and going 10 to 15 miles could take hours.

The old Indian trails were paved with crushed oyster shells. 

It took three days to travel from Mineola to Montauk. And it took about half a day to travel from Huntington to Smithtown.

The Long Island Museum in Stony Brook has 200 carriages on display.

The carriages, each with its own unique use, were designed to meet every type of transportation need. Carriages were used to transport goods and deliver mail. Families used them to go to church. And police and firefighters rushed to the scene in a carriage.

Because Long Island roads were so rugged, every town had several Carriage Shops that not only built the carriages, but spent a lot of time fixing them.

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