Lindsey Log Wagon Back Home in Laurel
Posted on: June 12, 2014
A restored Lindsey Eight Wheel Log Wagon is on display at the Sawmill Mall in Laurel. It is a homecoming 13 years in the making. The Lindsey Eight Wheel Log Wagon provided a vehicle especially adapted for hauling logs, timber, and other bulky and heavy material. It provided for an even distribution of the weight of the load on all eight wheels of the wagon. Prior to the invention of the Lindsey Wagon, logs were moved using a variety of small wagons and skids.
John Lindsey was granted Patent No. 617,172 dated January 3, 1899 for the Lindsey Eight Wheel Log Wagon. The Lindsey Wagon Company was established and by 1901, the Lindsey Wagon Company was the largest manufacturing plant in the state that started with raw material and was self-sustained. It was also the biggest single employer in the state with 120 workers.
During World War I, the Lindsey Wagon Company shipped many wagons to France for the United States Government. After the Armistice, the Lindsey Wagon Company received the following Award of Merit form the War Department:
“The War Department of the United States of America recognizes in this Award for Distinguished Service, the loyalty, energy, and efficiency in the performance of war work by which Lindsey Wagon Company aided materially in obtaining victory for the arms of the United States of America in the War with the Imperial German Government, and the Imperial and Royal Austrian-Hungarian Government.”
After World War II, the demand for the Lindsey Log wagon declined as new technology allowed other vehicles to do the same job faster and more efficiently. The company ceased manufacturing wagons after the death of Sam Lindsey, Sr. (president) in 1950.
In February 2001, the City of Laurel entered into an agreement with the Henry Stevens family to donate the Lindsey wagon in its “as is” condition. The Laurel City Council resolved to accept the wagon. The wagon was not in good repair; many of the wheel hubs were rotted and a steel rim was missing. It was restored by in-kind donations from Bobby & Chris Hancock, Larry Bird, Billy McClellan and Gene Mulloy.