Think of this like the swimsuit issue. As I come across early Ford and Model K owners in different regions of the country, it seems as though there are different themes and uses for the cars. This is the "Vermont" issue.
Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas owners seem different from those of New York and New England. The eastern Model K live a pampered existence, often hobnobbing with their more expensive and sophisticated peers such as Packard, Pierce and Peerless. Meanwhile, the plains "K's" are often the largest, most expensive cars in the region.
This thread covers a few of the New England, Vermont to be exact, Model K.
The Manley Brothers agency sold several makes of cars in the first decade of the twentieth century, including Ford. Meanwhile, William B. Houghton was a man born into wealth, from Massachusetts, with a summer home in Vermont. Each summer he and his young family summered in There. This clip gives an idea of the mode of transportation he was accustomed to when this story begins. W. (William) B. has just purchased a prize team of driving horses from his Grandfather's estate in early 1907:
That spring, the Houghton's open their summer home in Vermont:
In May of 1907, the Houghton's buy a Ford Model K locally from the Manley Brothers, and immediately set off on a trip with friends:
Meanwhile, the Manley Brothers continue to promote car sales, including Ford's. In this article, a Manley Ford six wins a much anticipated contest against a Stanley Steamer in July, 1907:
A week later, a customer buys a Ford six because of it's ability to make a run entirely on high gear:
However, this isn't necessarily a story about satisfied Ford customers. The Houghton Model K is about to be sold, for unknown reasons. I'll get to that tomorrow, along with a few other unique cars owned by Vermonter's.
Thank you Rob for these postings!Bud.
The D.B. Wesson mentioned in the first article is Daniel Wesson, the co-founder of Smith & Wesson Arms.
Bud, my pleasure.....
Ron, that makes sense, there was a hefty inheritance left family members from the Wesson estate. I haven't found a business that William Houghson is associated with, and it appears the family spent a good portion of their summers in Vermont. They also had the means to add a reservoir, two cottages and a barn/garage, in addition to the original summer home in the 1907-1908 time frame.
More a little later.
In late September, 1907, the Houghson's sell their Model K. The new owner wastes no time, entering their new six cylinder Ford in the annual parade on the same day the sale is reported. Lyndon L. Dunham is the new owner:
This won't be William Houghson's last car. We'll get back to him at a later time......
Meanwhile, the new owner is another wealthy Vermonter, one of three brothers with a hugely successful retail and wholesale business initiated in the 1880's. Lyndon is pictured on the right with his partner brothers:
You may recognize the Dunham name. The business and brand are now owned by another shoe maker, New Balance:
Later, the Dunham's adventures with their Ford, and the cars owned by the Dunham's and Houghson's after the Model K.
Back on task....
The Dunham brothers were not strangers to quality automobiles. Charles, Lyndon's brother, bought a six cylinder several months before Lyndon bought his Ford six. Charles purchased a Stevens Duryea six in May of 07:
Lyndon and family make use of the Ford six. In October the family along with another couple are stranded due to weather during an outing:
During the summer of 1908 the family take a tour, visiting several states including Massachusetts, Maryland and Maine:
In the meantime, has the original owner of this Model K bought another car?
As it turns out, the Houghton family is also busy touring during the summer of 1908:
As it turns out, the Houghton's didn't just replace their Model K with one car. By early 1908, they owned five cars, a Stevens Duryea six cylinder, two Whites, and two Ford's, a four cylinder and six cylinder (6-40 K) runabout. Seems the Houghton's weren't finished with the Model K after all:
Tomorrow I'll wrap this up. These men will own some very interesting cars over the next several years. Meanwhile, you'll never guess who else will own a Model K among these Vermonter's.
I've been distracted, now back to this thread.......
Another Vermont K owner turned out to be the gentleman who lost the race between his Stanley Steamer and the Model K towards the top of this thread. J. G. Ullery evidently bought a Ford six at some point following his loss. In 1909, he was selling his Model K, and a prospective buyer, a stock broker from Boston, ran the Model K into a lake......
Fortunately for the prospective buyer, Mr. Forbrush, it looks as though the accident may not have been as serious as first reported:
Later I'll finish with the cars Lyndon Dunham owns in later years.
Lyndon Dunham, of the Dunham Brothers, owned several interesting cars during his lifetime. We know of his Model K. In 1910 he bought another well known, powerful car, from the same dealer who sold the Ford Six:
And this meant the end of the Dunham Model K:
1910 Thomas Model M:
In 1920, this Vermont Automobile Club book shows Mr. Dunham owning two cars, a Cadillac, and Owen-M:
Another well known person owns an Owen today:
If anyone has followed this through to the end, this is all I have on Vermont Model K (for now).
I've been waiting to respond... :-) A buck says you'll unearth more down the road...
Great history bit Rob! Thank you for digging! I can get in a tither about things like this! :-) Darned N's and K's... Yum.
I'd bet that the 90 (theoretical) horse Thomas was at the flywheel of the engine as opposed to the horses given to the driving wheels like your K as tested...... :-)
An Owen... I'm actually not surprised that Jay Leno has one. My Dyke's manual introduced me to those Owen's. Cool stuff.
Heck, he even has one of the (6?) left over Chrysler turbine cars.
Jay Is like many folks on this planet... "Gee, that'd be cool....." :-)
He also likes boring stationary steam engines! I like him for that. :-) Hmmm, is it rhythm that has his interests?
I have found more Vermont K's, however not with background stories as complete as the Dunham car. I have found another interesting Vermont Ford six cylinder tidbit, but may start another thread on it. I'm waiting on more information from a particular Vermont town.
I'm glad you enjoyed the collection of stories,
I enjoy all of you "K" postings. I like this one also and paid special attention to the Spofford Lake crash as the town of Spofford and its lake is only about eight or so miles from here.
The crash brought to mind a story which I have heard a time or two regarding a damaged Model K radiator which used to hang on the wall of a local business decades ago and now long gone. Who knows if it might have been from the Brattleboro car or from a local K. There were five or six Model Ks registered here in Keene, so I have been told.
Please keep up the good work! Bill
If possible, I would like to learn of the Model K registered in Keene. I have come across a few Model K owners who vacationed/summered at Spofford Lake. This is one:
The Stearns's owned a 50 hp Thomas Flyer in 1906. From Brooklyn, they summered at Spofford Lake in N.H..
By October 1907, they had traded their Thomas for a Ford:
Bill, out of curiosity, how far are you from Barre VT.?
Barre, VT is about 120 miles, more if you used Model T (or K) roads. I will check with my source about Keene Ks as I have no idea how to research that. Bill
Thanks Bill. I would like to find someone "on the ground" near Barre to check on something locally (in Barre). Specifically, I would like to find a 19110-1914 Barre street directory.
I lived in Barre 17 years ago. In the front window of a bookstore at 162 North Main St was curved dash Olds in the process of restoration. It was believed to be the first automobile in Vermont. I don't know if the book store is still there or if the Olds was ever finished.
Rob,Do people in that part of the country use platt books? Is there a K in a barn yet? Bud.
I live in that part of the country. What is a platt book? Bill
Bill,Our state has platt books with drawings and descriptions of every place in a section and owners at the time.Maybe that city/town/county called it something else at the time? Bud.
I was going to wait for more info, but still interesting. This 1913 Barre VT. newspaper article covers the towns street mapping:
The portion of the article that caught my attention:
Either the reporter/editor/type setter inadvertently places "six cylinder" in front of "Ford" on the street designation, or a street in Barre was named for the Model K Ford. Other streets in the area today include Packard, Velie and Overland. The street in the article is now listed on Google maps as "Ford:"