Sleigh Ride Saved on Kempton's Ledge

Basic category for information pertaining to Lake Minnewaska's history.
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Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2002 12:18 pm
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Location: Budd Lake, NJ

Sleigh Ride Saved on Kempton's Ledge

Postby Corinne » Fri Sep 06, 2002 1:28 pm

Several years before I worked at the riding stables, there was a story of a sleigh driver taking a tour of people to Kempton's Ledge (on the way to Castle Point). On a sleigh, you have chains wrapped in front of the runners to act as brakes. This driver had stopped, removed the chains.

Only one problem, when the driver made the turnaround at Kempton's, the back of the sleigh swings out over the ledge! No brakes!!

Fortunately, the passengers were all nuns, and by the grace of God some say, they didn't plummet 200 feet down the cliff.

This same driver visited while I was driving the carriage. He hitched a ride back to Wildmere. The team decided they didn't want to go, took a right-turn downhill back to the stables!

And Barry just grabbed one-half of the reins and helped avoid a bad carriage-turnover around the trees and where we would've been crushed under the carriage.

I saw that same sleigh at the entrance to a campground in Gardiner, some 10 years ago ... brought a smile to my face. Hope it's still there.


Postby Nan » Fri Sep 06, 2002 1:28 pm

Corrine, Iam glad that you have your memories .
Lake Minnewaska was a very special place to all of
us that were fortunate enough to be there. I hope
you are doing well. I am in my 19th year of
teaching art at a middle school in Atlanta Ga.. I
have wonderful pics of you and Niche in the barn.
I will download and Email them to Sam to put on
this site. Suzanne and i remain best of friends.
She lives in Atlanta , also. It was good to read
your words.

Suzanne Phillips

Postby Suzanne Phillips » Fri Sep 06, 2002 1:29 pm

Corrine - good to hear from you - I don't recall a "near death saved by the grace of nuns" at Kempton Ledge - but I do remember one at the sharp turn where you get the view over the Wallkill Valley at the end of the lake (opposite from Wildmere) - the team was running back to the stable pulling a carriage with the driver and seven nuns - the team went off the road at the turn and the carriage was teetering - the driver told the nuns to stay and pray - if they had jumped off the carriage would have gone over - Nan probably remembers more than I - of course everything worked out okay.



Postby Nan » Fri Sep 06, 2002 1:29 pm

Corrine, Suzanne has the story right- I was there
when they hooked a rack truck to the carriage to
hold it while they helped the nuns out of the
carriage; the horses were o.k.. Mr. Phillips
Sr.said to John ,the carriage driver "John,what do
you think you could have done to keep this from
happening?" John looked shaken and replied " Mr.
Phillips, I don't know about all that - all I know
is that If those hadn't been nuns, we wouldn't be
here!!!!!" Definately, one of my favorite
memories.It did happen where Suzanne wrote. Take
care !

Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2002 12:18 pm
Are you human?: 0
Location: Budd Lake, NJ

Postby Corinne » Fri Sep 06, 2002 1:30 pm

Good to hear the straight story! John was most likely driving Nellie, she plowed through every bit ever put in her mouth!!

Never being a strong swimmer, I always remember the stories of taking the sleigh out to the middle of the lake ... would've liked to see what it looked like from out there.

Take care.

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