Founded in 1898, the Thornhill Wagon Company, created by Benjamin P. Thornhill, was known for making reliable wagons, two wheeled carts used for harvesting sugar cane, and miniature wagons for children. The company had to overcome difficulties in its early stages including surviving two disastrous fires. In 1910 they built a brick fire-proof structure on Rutherford Street in Lynchburg’s Fort Hill neighborhood which could hold 1.5 million feet of lumber and employed 150 people during its heyday.
By 1936, Thornhill Wagon Company was the largest independent manufacturer of wagons in the United States. By the mid-20th century, most of the farm equipment in the nation was gasoline powered and wagons were needed less and less. The company was forced to close in 1954.
Historic photographs, catalogs, and advertisements will be on display along with a miniature Thornhill Wagon. The items will remain on display throughout the weekend.