Picture R.J. Haney Heritage Village mid-winter blanketed by a fresh snowfall. One of the volunteers, Rosemary Wilson, has shoveled the driveway. A truck pulls up. Unannounced, Danley Carriage and Wheel is about to deliver the last of the vehicles its owner, Dwayne Danley, has contracted to restore. The vehicle is historic. It is a cutter – a  small horse drawn sleigh.  The project, started almost a year and a half earlier, is coming to a close.


Danley takes General Manager Susan Mackie through his restoration. He is a pro. He shows Susan the parts he has replaced and saved for the curator. He knows she’ll want them.  Susan marvels. There are Robertson screws. She knows her history. The screws are old enough for this restoration.

The seat has been repaired and reupholstered in a rich red-burgundy fabric. Susan smiles. Wouldn’t you just like to put on a fur coat and a muff and go for a ride?   

The artefact will be on display in the building we affectionately call the Hanna Shed.  It is a modified salt box style single gable building that came from Hanna and Hanna orchard. The democrat, doctor’s buggy and a few other cutters sit there now. A total of four vehicles are now restored.

The Shuswap Community Foundation funded this project.

 “We’re so grateful,” Susan says. “With all the work we do taking care of the buildings and with the Montebello project starting this month at the Village, we don’t have the resources to restore these artefacts.”

People need to see what a lovely job Dwayne Danley did. The curator, yours truly, is making plans to take this cutter on the road to town.  I am hoping  to arrange for the cutter and maybe a fur coat or two to be at the Mall at Piccadilly for Heritage Week. See you in the third week of  February!