Gidley’s wood horse finds new stable in Historical Society

From left: Barb Huddleston, Alaina  McCray, Cody McCray, Jody Paschal, Rylee McCray, Ellie McCray and Helen Gidley lead Smokey the Horse from Gidley's Shoe Store to  his new "stable," the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society Museum. Smokey is believed to be more than 85 years old and has been a fixture in Fulton's downtown shoe stores over the decades.

From left: Barb Huddleston, Alaina McCray, Cody McCray, Jody Paschal, Rylee McCray, Ellie McCray and Helen Gidley lead Smokey the Horse from Gidley's Shoe Store to his new "stable," the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society Museum. Smokey is believed to be more than 85 years old and has been a fixture in Fulton's downtown shoe stores over the decades. Photo by Dean Asher.

The Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society has saved what might be Callaway’s oldest horse from being put out to pasture.

Smokey, the wooden horse hundreds of children have saddled upon over the past several decades in Fulton’s downtown shoe stores, has a new home in the Historical Society Museum. The horse was moved there Friday on the heels of Gidley’s Shoe Store closing.

The horse, built by Cecil Garrett, is believed to be between 85-90 years old, according to Gidleys owner Jody Paschal. Garrett started Garret Shoe Store in the 1930s on Court Street, which he owned and maintained until 1970, when he sold the store to Wesley and Helen Gidley.

“A lot of kids have ridden that horse all these years,” said Paschal. “There’s been a lot of bottoms on that saddle. He’s always lived on Court Street so we wanted to keep him there.”

Museum curator Barb Huddleston said the horse would be left on display in the museum where kids could saddle up as they had before at Gidley’s, and the horse had been a part of many peoples’ downtown experience.

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