“Tie Sheds” were provided by the City as a place for the farmers to safely leave their horses and wagons, or sleighs, while they were in town doing their “trading”. The term, trading is still used, by some of us older people, as a reference to the buying of groceries. However, at that time, farmers actually did do their trading, when they came to town, usually on Saturdays.
These “Tie Sheds” provided a great pastime for some of us kids on Saturdays, during the winter time. We would engage in, what was called, “Hopping Bobs”. We would go to the Tie Sheds and wait for a farmer to start for home, with his team and bob sleigh. We would hop on to one of the runners of his sleigh and hang on to the box, until we got a short distance outside of town. We would then watch for another sleigh that was coming into town. If the incoming sleigh wasn’t going too fast, we would hop it and ride back to the Tie Sheds.
Sometimes the farmer would speed up so that he would be going too fast for us to hop on. It was rather dangerous to try, sometimes, but most of the farmers seemed to remember when they were kids, and they would act like they enjoyed having us.
There were also times that we would get stranded, out in the country and either have to walk back, to town, or have a cold wait until another Bob came along. It was great fun, but I seem to recall that we were not too cordially received, when we got home, about dark. We were cold, we were hungry, our pants legs were frozen stiff and we permeated a strong aroma of horse manure.