Bio: Tibbett's Klondike Sleigh (1930)

Contact: Janet
Email: stan@wiclarkcountyhistory.org

----Sources: Clark Co. Press 31 Dec. 2003

The Klondike Sleigh was a familiar part of the Neillsville scene during the 1930s. The Tibbet Ice & Fuel Co. was established by George Tibbett and his brother, Jack. As the business flourished, in 1932, George purchased the bobsled-style sleigh from his grandfather, Jacob Gehweiler, of Chippewa Falls. Originally, the sleigh was one of two built by Felber and Misfeldt in Chippewa Falls, 1890. Ordered by the Meuli Livery, the sleigh was used for hire to take parties of people to social gatherings, or work sites in and around the Chippewa Falls area. Pleasant memories of the sleigh-ride rig, as a teen-ager, prompted George to buy the sleigh in 1932. Henry Ghent, of Neillsville, rebuilt the sled dashboard and made some other minor repairs. Price Snyder repainted the sleigh when he spent a summer in painting Tibbetts' fleet of ice and coal delivery wagons and sleighs. At that time, the sleigh was renamed the Klondike. The Tibbett ice storage shed was located on the north bank of O'Neill Creek, near the Tibbett home on 9th Street. The ice was harvested from the creek or Black River during the winter months, to be sold to customers during the summer. In recent years, when a sufficient snow-cover warrants good sleighing, George Tibbett's sons, Richard and Bruce, and daughter Pat Mrotek, along with their families gather for a family reunion. They all board the recently-refurbished Klondike, enjoying an old-fashioned sleigh ride.

 

 


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