Out of our past
By Darlene Hawley – In today’s world, it’s hard to imagine the horse and buggy as the primary mode of transportation for people in our community. But, that was true in the early days of our little village of Wayne (first called Derby’s Corner soon after Ezra Derby bought Johnson’s Tavern in 1832 and began building in the area.) Horses were not only important work animals on the farm but they transported the farm families into town to shop, attend church, and visit friends and family. In the picture shown, you see horses lined up outside stores on Monroe Street waiting for their owners to return. There were often watering troughs on the streets of Wayne for the horses to drink from after their trip into town. (A little like today’s gas stations on the corners of many streets which fill the engines of our cars!) A very unusual horse watering trough still stands in our city today, a reminder of days gone by. When you drive past our Historical Museum on Biddle Street, you have probably noticed the huge urn filled with flowers sitting in front of the building steps. This urn is over 150 years old and has been located at a number of sites in our community over the years. Early on it sat in our Towne Square where it held flowers in bloom. The urn was enjoyed by townspeople who visited the square to picnic, hear band concerts and celebrate holidays. Later it was filled with water and used for many years as a watering spot for horses. In 1924 when the streets of our city were widened and paved, the existing mayor, Jerry Perry, moved the oversized urn to his gas station. In 1954 Zephir Charron, a brother-in-law of Mayor Perry, acquired the urn and kept it on his property for many years. When Michigan Avenue East bound was constructed, drivers could view the urn sitting in the Charron front yard as they drove along the road. A few years ago the Wayne Historical Commission acquired the urn for the city and had it repaired, refurbished and painted and placed in front of our museum on the corner of Biddle and Main Streets. Today this beautiful antique continues to link us to our past history.