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November 27, 2022

Tiny 1900s buggy restored by Agricultural History Project

WATSONVILLE—A small 1900s wooden wagon has been given new life thanks to volunteers from the Agricultural History Project at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds.

History Project CEO John Kegebein said the 6-foot-long wagon, with the words FIRE PATROL written on the side, was originally donated to the Pajaro Valley Historical Association around 1996 and had been on display at the Porter Building.

“It was eventually destroyed when some kind of wood beetle ate most of the wood,” Kegebein said. “Thanks to the hard work of volunteer Hassan Zamani it was brought back to life; he did an incredible job.”

Kegebein said that almost all of the metal hardware was cleaned up and put back into use in the restoration job. Kegebein said Zamani went to great lengths to mill the lumber to recreate the miniature wagon and hand-paint the lettering to match the original.

“The wagon will eventually live in the new Carriage Barn, once we raise the funds and get it built,” Kegebein said.

Last week Olivia Bartels, 2 and her brother, Raymond, 4, were joined by three 6-week-old puppies in a sneak preview of the finished wagon as they climbed aboard.

Zamani has been volunteering at AHP since 2018. He also fully restored an 1890s horse-drawn buggy in 2020.

Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.

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