Carriage donation is truly Marvel-ous!

CARRIAGE frank calhoun carlton Huhn

Georgetown native Frank Calhoun, left, and longtime horse-breeding partner Carlton Huhn stand next to the carriage they donated to the Nutter D. Marvel Carriage Museum’s collection.

GEORGETOWN – Officially, Georgetown native Frank Calhoun turned 80 years old Tuesday, July 28.

Last Saturday, his birthday was celebrated early by family, friends, schoolmates and members of the Georgetown Historical Society at the Nutter D. Marvel Carriage Museum – the new home for a nostalgic piece of history.

Mr. Calhoun and longtime horse-breeding partner Carlton Huhn passed the ownership reins with a carriage donation to the Marvel Museum’s impressive collection.

“The gift of the carriage to the Nutter Marvel Museum is greatly accepted by the Board of Directors,” said Georgetown Historical Society President Jim Bowden. “And we’d like to think of this as not just another nice carriage that we put in our display but this is almost like a homecoming. Frank is a native son of Georgetown. Frank’s and Carlton’s gift to the Historical Society is greatly appreciated. We’d like to think that this is going to be Frank’s legacy here in Georgetown – his hometown.”

In addition to museum display, carriages are used in the parade during Sussex County’s unique post-election Return Day tradition.

“I want to thank you for thinking of us,” said Rosalie Walls, Sussex County Return Day President. “This will be a wonderful addition. I just can’t thank you enough – you and Carlton.”

Mr. Calhoun noted that the carriage’s most recent restoration was done by Earl Lloyd, among those on hand for the presentation/unveiling.

The carriage, a Stanhope Trap model made by W.E. Burns & Bros. in Harve de Grace, MD., has an award-winning past.

“This carriage appeared at Montpelier for the Carriage Association event and I won the family class,” Mr. Calhoun said.

carriage carlton jim bowden and frank calhoun

Carlton Huhn, Georgetown Historical Society President Jim Bowden and Frank Calhoun at the July 25 carriage donation at the Marvel Museum.

After graduating from Georgetown High School in 1953 and the University of Delaware in 1957, Mr. Calhoun earned degrees from Georgetown University Law School and University of Baltimore Law School that led him to a career in Washington, D.C. He was hired during the Lyndon B. Johnson Administration as a legislative attorney for the U.S. Congress, and then he was instrumental in setting up the U.S. Department of Transportation.

“I was there 38 1/2 years,” Mr. Calhoun said.

Family ties are the connection with Nutter Marvel and horses.

“My father was Delaware Harness Racing Commission for 30 some years and a good friend of Nutter,” said Mr. Calhoun.

Mr. Calhoun and Mr. Huhn began breeding Morgan horses at Harmony Hall along the Potomac River in the 1980s.

“We have been breeding Morgan horses for 35 years. Frank’s father had carriages,” said Huhn.

“Carlton’s family introduced me to Morgan horses. I used to go horse shows and help them with their carriage horses,” said Mr. Calhoun, who now resides near Charlottesville, Va., in Crozet that is home to their 100-acre horse farm.

“This is a great asset to the museum,” said Sussex County Return Day Director Terry Johnson, a passionate historian who entertains numerous projects at the Marvel Museum.

“We’re going to be able to show this off for many generations to come,” said Mr. Bowden. “It’s great that we can preserve this history and show the young kids where we came from.”

Tom Marvel, grandson of Nutter Marvel who passed away 27 years ago, attended the ceremony.

“I’m glad that everybody is working so hard to keep this legacy of his alive and moving forward,” Mr. Marvel said. “This is something that will be relished for a long time.”

 

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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