| Jul 24, 2019

No one really knew what to expect when members of the Horseless Carriage Club of America – Southern Ontario Region said they were planning to make Sydenham a lunch stop on one of the touring days of their annual gathering... which is centred at the Ambassador Hotel in Kingston this year.

There were about 60 of the brass-era vehicles, so-named for the shiny gold trim on many of the them, all built before 2016. They were planning to drive from the hotel up Sydenham Road to a pit stop at the Limestone Creamery before heading to Sydenham to visit Trousdale’s General Store, before having lunch at the Legion.

Trousdale’s was a fitting stop, since the store has been operating since long before these cars were first built, having survived from the horse and buggy days of the 1830’s.

The vehicles began to arrive at around 11, and by 11:30 they were buzzing and darting around the intersection of Mill Street and George Street like so many bees. Club members were checking out Trousdale’s, some filling up at the One Stop along with all of the modern cars, which all looked pretty drab and uniform in comparison to the elegant and varied brass era beauties.

The vintage cars never seemed to stop for too long, though, before heading one way or another through the village, some at a gentle cruising speed and others bolting along at a rapid clip. Club members smiled at passers-by, and whispered to each other about how their cars were running, where they were able to source parts, and about makes and model years, etc.

After 15 minutes, they began to vacate the intersection, heading towards the Legion parking lot, which was quickly filled up. There club members gathered in earnest, talking shop for the most part. After lunch they were gone, headed towards the Wilton Cheese Factory and the return trip to Kingston.

Sydenham quickly returned to normal, the modern lumps on wheels reclaimed the streets, and pedestrian put their phones/cameras back into their pockets.

The brass-era invasion was over.

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