Horse and Buggy Sculpture, Mesopotamia
Artist Chris McConnell made this sculpture from scrap wood using only his arm as a measuring tool. Today, it stands outside the End of the Commons General Store.
Downtown Mesopotamia sits at a country crossroads, just west of Trumbull County’s Mosquito Creek Wilderness. Travelers are more likely to spot a horse and buggy than a traffic jam. In fact, it’s a sight that visitors to Peter Schaden’s
End of the Commons General Store can’t miss.
Measuring 14 feet tall, a wooden horse and buggy sculpture made of planks of scrap wood from area mills stands tall on a grassy patch across the street from the general store, poised as if it were ready to trot down the road.
“The wheels on it are 7 feet — it’s huge,” Schaden says. “It’s all wood. We spray it every other year to seal coat it for the weather.”
It was Schaden himself who gave the horse a place to graze, after spotting a local artist building the horse portion of the sculpture in his front yard more than a decade ago.
“He was trying to show how he could make curves using straight edges,” Schaden says, explaining sculptor Chris McConnell’s approach. “The only measuring tool he used was from his fingertips to his elbow.”
Schaden offered to buy the piece and McConnell agreed, working with a neighbor to construct a matching buggy for display. Since its installation in 2008, the horse and buggy has served as a meeting place, a landmark and a photo opportunity, but it’s also added to the allure of Schaden’s already popular general store, an 1840s structure that stocks glass-bottled sodas, bulk candy and plenty of other memory joggers.
“When you’re in a little town like us, you’ve got to find every angle,” Schaden says. His family has owned the End of the Commons General Store since the early 1980s, and Schaden is now working to revive memories of yesteryear in a new generation of visitors. “We try to bring back the nostalgia.”
8719 St. Rte. 534, Mesopotamia 44439, 440/693-4295, endofthecommons.com