Day 12 – 13

Travelling from Pittsburgh to Kentucky was an interesting journey, the terrain changes little but the farms and architecture varies in style from town to town, farm to farm. Despite the distance I am still enjoying the travelling part of the project, I would like to think it is giving me a greater insight into American life. It has certainly struck home the sheer size of the country, where did people even begin when it came to settling this massive continent?

After a quiet evening to catch up on my blogs and social media I was refreshed and ready to tackle the next day. The next visit was to Harley Chandlers Wheelwrights shop in Kentucky.

This shop was another last minute find with thanks to the help from the Wheelwrights at Colonial Williamsburg. I found myself in the middle of nowhere down a quiet winding road with only the odd house dotted here and there, I like isolated places but this place was like going off the map. The countryside was stunning, more trees than I am used to back in the UK. After overlooking the workshop on the 1st pass I managed to bump into one of Harleys brothers further up the road, he soon directed me back to the workshop where Harley was waiting to meet me.


Almost hidden from the road this Wheelwrights shop, surrounded by trees and undergrowth in the stunning Kentuckian countryside was a gold mine of Wheelwrighting memorabilia. Before I even had the chance to say hello to Harley my eyes were opened wide by the vast amount of tools hanging on the walls and ceiling. There was barely a space between them, far too many to list or even to see them all in one visit!


Harley, an elderly gentleman, was extremely pleasant and seemed very happy to welcome me to his workshop. After a quick introduction and chat about the trade I was whisked off around the shop on a guided tour. I found Harley was very proud of his workshop and the work he produces. He had just built a beautiful set of coach wheels for an open museum, he was also building the coach, all the metalwork and bodywork in house, fascinating to see.


Much of the machinery in Harley’s shop was ancient but extremely well maintained, he had obviously dedicated many years to collecting and restoring these machines, he had also built some machines himself just like the Amish Wheelwrights, a testament to the dedication and skill within our trade.



A true font of knowledge with a brilliant collection, I would be more than happy to visit his place again in the future.

Next stop Minnesota…