GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A new collection is galloping its way to the Chapman Museum. A collection of artifacts from a New York-local horse trainer has come into the museum’s possession – and the museum is looking to pass some along down a new dusty road.
On Tuesday, the Glens Falls-based museum announced the acquisition of over 200 wooden carvings once owned by Broncho Charlie Miller, a legendary horse breaker who worked with wild horses starting at 8 years old in the 1850s. The items will be the subject of a new exhibit: “Broncho Charlie, Unbridled” will run from June 3 to Sept. 10.
“This exhibition will chronicle the exciting life and journey of Broncho Charlie through objects, photographs and records,” said Nicole Herwig, executive director of The Chapman. “The Chapman jumped at the opportunity to bring the collection home to Glens Falls for good. This collection is of great value to our community, as the objects together recount the story of an exciting life of local provenance.”
Although not born in Glens Falls, “Bronco Charlie” moved to the city in 1889, and married city native Carrie Potter. Glens Falls is where he raised his family, and is now buried, ending a long career of horse training and adventure.
Born in 1850 in New York City, Charles Mortimer Miller was sent to “school ship” with his brother, aboard a vessel where they were designated to act as free labor to the captain. The brothers escaped that vessel as it traveled along Cape Horn, South America, headed towards California. His brother was recaptured, but Miller escaped, starting a journey that would see him become the last and youngest Pony Express Rider; a traveler with Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show; and as a horse trainer for Teddy Roosevelt. He died in 1955 in Glens Falls.
Acquired by antique dealer Rebecca Masland, the Chapman was loaned the collection in 1998, and has kept it in storage ever since. The collection includes wooden carvings of people, animals, wagons and religious figures.
If you see an artifact you like, you can put your name on it. Visitors to the exhibit can choose to fund a piece and have their name included on its label. Adoptable items can be previewed online, with pricing starting at $30. Adoption funds benefit the museum’s process of processing and storing items.