THE MERRILL TRANSPORT COMPANY OIL HAULER



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As reported by Roger Austin on September 2009

Fall Exhibition Features Oil Tanker

Parked next to the Pavilion Building during the 2009 Old Fashioned Harvest Days was the Museum’s newest acquisition, a 1920’s horse-drawn oil tanker donated by the family of the late Paul E. Merrill. The gift was administered by Sandi Goolden, Merrill’s daughter-in-law, in memory of her husband, Paul D. Merrill. The Merrill Transport Co. oil hauler is a replica of one that was used to deliver kerosene to the family farm of P.E. Merrill when he was a boy in Cumberland, Maine. In 1929, he hauled his first load of hay and began the operations of the Merrill Transport Company that served the New England states and eventually included warehousing, leasing, lumber, and other businesses. Merrill was a great promoter of the free enterprise system, espousing hard work, service, fairness, care for employees, and an eye to profit which would benefit all the employees of his companies. Merrill had the tanker built in the 1970’s after he received a gift of a pair of Belgian mares which led to his owning several. The running gear and tank actually are vintage items, probably dating back to the 1920’s themselves, if not earlier. The oil tanker was used in parades for several years.

The tanker resided in Maine near the home of Sandi Goolden. With the help of her son, Ethan, she sent the tanker’s measurements to the Museum. In August, Jim and Julie McGraw arrived in Yarmouth on the tail of hurricane Danny with lots of rain and wind. With help from Sandi, Ethan, and friends, the tanker was loaded on the McGraw’s trailer. Soaked and dirty, they headed toward Madrid, making 100 miles before stopping at a warm motel. The following afternoon, Jim and Julie were given a hero’s welcome at the Museum by a large group of members waiting to help unload the trailer. In addition to the tanker, there was also a large wooden tack box containing several beautiful parade harnesses. The tanker and box will be stored in the Pavilion until the horse-drawn equipment building is completed .


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Display picture courtesy of Fred Saburro.