Times have changed since horse-drawn wagons were
used to get “to town” and for chores around the farm. Thanks to
brothers Bruce and Bob Shorey the Vassalboro Historical Society are now
proud caretakers of one of these relics. Donated to the VHS on behalf of
their parents, Robert & Elizabeth (Witham) Shorey, this wonderful
old wagon will have a future in the Society’s varied displays.
Estimated to date from about 1850 due to its wooden hubs, the wagon
lay for many years in pieces at the Shorey family home on the corner of
Cemetery Street and Oak Grove Road in North Vassalboro. Knowing that
they would have no use for it and that their parents would want it to
stay in Vassalboro, Bob contacted the Historical Society. After seeing
the wagon and getting its history, the Society gratefully accepted the
Seen as a large wooden puzzle, the wagon with its 8’ shafts or
thills was carefully put together by Bob Shorey and Steve Clowes.
Although the wagon has no marks identifying the maker, it was probably
made by a local man and sold to the Shoreys, who used it to get back and
forth to town or for transporting grain for their cattle.
On September 28th, with the assistance of the Shoreys, Steve Clowes,
Peter Reny, Lauchlin Titus and VHS board members, the wagon was loaded
onto a flatbed and driven to its new home in what is known as "Ina’s"
(Weymouth) barn in East Vassalboro.
The Shorey family has a long history in Vassalboro, going back to
Benjamin Williams, a Revolutionary War soldier who is buried in a small
cemetery at the end of the Brann Road. According to census records, the
family primarily worked in farming. However, one family member, Orville
Williams, left Vassalboro and worked for several prominent newspapers,
including the Boston Herald and the New York Journal, as a political
The Vassalboro Historical Society looks forward to putting the wagon back to work in our museum displays in the near future.