From The Scrapbook By Rev. Bill Randall

From The Scrap Book

                         Park & Pray

Nov. 29, 1989

By. Dr. Bill Randall

The facility known as “Park and Fly” where you can leave your automobile and take a Shuttle Bus to the Airport.

There was something like that in Harvey in the late 1890’s, only I call it “Park and Pray”. Bobby Dorcas (1886 – 1964), told me of the excited anticipation he and other young

boys used to share as they waited beside the St. Andrews Presbyterian Church on a Sunday morning, hoping some family head would select them to park the horse and buggy. The church had a shelter for horse teams, similar to what we would call a ‘carport’ today; and after the worshipper and his family debarked from the buggy the selected boy would proudly lead the team to the shelter; being alert to have the team ready after church, and hopefully receive a tip.

The big tipper would have been Andrew Coburn, (1828-1907). He was probably the most affluent member of the church at that time, and drove a matched team of sprightly driving horses and a splendid two-seater topped buggy. Andrew, the son of Harvey original settler John Coburn and Elizabeth Lessley seemed to have a talent for being at the right place at the right time. Andrew had acquired tracts of lands adjacent to property through which the first railway would pass and he assembled a portable saw-mill which could provide fuel wood according to railway specifications. The mill was mounted on a wagon drawn by horses and was powered by the horses walking on an endless belt. Andrew’s prosperity allowed him to build a beautiful home for his wife Elizabeth (Messer) and the nine children they were to rear. This home was built on what we now call Hanselpacker Hill, opposite the entrance to the Arena Complex.

The home was handed down through the generations to Bessie Burrell who married Fred Hanselpacker, then down to Hollis Hanselpacker and now to George Hanselpacker.

If you were the lucky boy who got to park Andrew’s rig, you might get ten cents. Can’t you just see these eager boys with their high topped shoes, their knee length britches, their coats with sleeves too short, (for they were growing so rapidly) their faces meticulously scrubbed, their hair pomaded (Bobby’s curls could never be controlled) and the eager smiles?

Is this going to be my lucky day? Will I get a tip from Park and Pray?

Source: Rev. Bill Randall’s “From the Scrapbook Vol. One”

Recommended Reading

Interested in learning more about the rich history and heritage of the Harvey region? Here are a few blog posts that might pique your interest:

Indigenous History Resources

Before colonial settlement in New Brunswick, the indigenous peoples sustained themselves by hunting, fishing, and cultivating crops. Three distinct groups asserted their territorial claims in

Read More »