In 1902, my Uncle Ernest Cooke, who lived in Minneapolis,
visited his home
and with him brought New Carlisle's first automobile. This he bought in
Montreal, along with a barrel of gasoline as this could not be bought here.
The automobile arrived on a freight car and was unloaded and he drove it
down to Grandfather Cooke's farm.
They had received word of his coming, so Grandmother and the children were
waiting, dressed in their Sunday best for his arrival.
Our roads were in bad condition. Next morning he invited his brother,
Arthur, to accompany him uptown. Grandmother, who was terrified of this
new contraption, bade her sons goodbye.
They went up as far as Beebe's Street. Lionel Caldwell, who was then a
small boy, ran in the house and called, "Everyone come and see this! Here
comes a wagon without a horse!"
Ernest returned to his home in the United States after a few days and left
the car and barrel of gas at home for them to use but no one had the
courage to try out this new machine.
Fall came and it had to be put in the shed. Cousins Will and Fred, ten
and twelve years old, were to help their father with this. Their horse,
Old Jim, was hitched to it and Uncle gave the "go ahead" command. Next
thing they knew Uncle was sitting on top of the woodpile. Finally, it was
put in the shed and stayed there several years. Then Uncle had them ship
it to Montreal to be sold.