Not everyone gets married in a stagecoach, and certainly not everyone owns one.
Chris and Sally Jenkins aren’t everyone.
The Pain Court couple, who recently celebrated their 38th wedding anniversary, have their stagecoach ready for display for the thousands of people who will pass right by their property on the way to the International Plowing Match on Pain Court Line.
The stagecoach, built the same year Chris was born – 1962 – was originally the property of the late Warren Walsted, a friend of Chris’ father, Bill.
“I used to run around and play there when I was a kid,” Chris said of Walsted’s farm.
The stagecoach, bearing the moniker, “Overland Stage Coach Lines,” is a detailed replica of the people movers that bounced along roads and wagon trails in the Old West.
Walsted built the coach with a friend, and paid close attention to historic details, building it to spec. That includes the suspension, which is a combination of belts and cross-springs.
“It just floats,” Chris said.
The connection between Walsted and Chris’ father is how Chris and Sally wound up getting married in the stagecoach.
Chris said the idea of getting married with horse-drawn transportation is nothing new to the family, as his parents tied the knot in a horse and buggy.
“We’ve been around horses our whole lives,” he said.
After Walsted passed away, the stagecoach went up for auction about five years ago. The Jenkins attended the event.
“When we went to the auction, I was taking pictures because I didn’t think I’d see it again,” she said.
Except Chris had other ideas.
“It was up for sale and I started bidding,” he said.
Sally said it got down to Chris and another bidder – a museum. Somehow, the Jenkins won, and they were ecstatic.
“After we bought it, I interrupted the auctioneer and told him we were married in it,” Chris said.
After purchasing the coach, Chris said he decided to sand down all the wood and build the varnish back up. He feared he’d gone too far as the paint was almost invisible when he was finished.
But Sally’s layers of varnish brought the vivid colours and writing right back.
The beautiful woodwork and detailed trim paint will soon be showcased to the public.
As the IPM approaches, the Jenkins are ready to display their treasure to passersby. It’s something they’ve done in the past – on a particular day – and just not to this large of a drive-by audience.
“Normally, we’ll put it out in the pasture on our anniversary,” Chris said. “We’ll have dinner in it and watch the sun set.”
This time around, the stagecoach could be making daily appearances.
“If the weather is nice, we plan on putting it out there every day.”