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Remember this? No horses on the sidewalk. It's the law

Sunday, August 31, 2014   by: Staff

You can't ride a horse down city sidewalks these days, and you couldn't back in 1879 either.

While that didn't change, other aspects of Sault Ste. Marie life certainly did with the advent of the automobile.

Keep reading as the Sault Ste. Marie Museum gives us a glimpse of what life was like before the motor vehicle.

Early Travel

In 1930, it was noted that there was a great deal less horse drawn traffic in the downtown.

After a survey of local businesses it was determined that there were only 219 horses remaining in the Sault. 

At the turn of the century, a horse-drawn cab could be hired to take a person to any part of the city for 25 cents.

One hour would cost $1 for one to four persons. 

Horses and saddles could be hired for a dollar an hour if attending a funeral.

If hiring for ordinary business that same dollar would get you two and a half hours. 

It appears that horse and carriage rentals for funerals were always more expensive.   

Better roads were bringing the automobile more popularity.

In the 1930 City Directory there were listed 17 businesses for Automobile Accessories & Repairs.

There were 20 listings for Automobiles & Garages.

You could purchase a brand new car in 1930 for between $500-$700 depending on the model.

In 1879, city council passed a by-law which stated - Horseracing was banned on town streets in the interest of public safety.

No person shall ride, drive, lead or back any horse, carriage, cart, wagon, sled, sleigh or other vehicle to be ridden, driven, led or backed over, upon or along any paved, graveled or planked sidewalk.

Each week, the Sault Ste. Marie Museum provides SooToday readers with a glimpse of the city’s past.

Find out more of what the museum has to offer at

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