This is the story of how a No. 5C model Flexible Flyer sled came home to roost. In 1884 the Agnew family took ownership of the house at 5 Pearl Street that is now the Captain Jefferds Inn. Captain William Jefferds had passed away in 1851 and his wife Sarah had passed on in 1871. The Agnew family ended up owning the house from 1884 through 1944.
In 1903 Catherine Sanford Agnew married Edgar Stirling Auchincloss. After her marriage, Catherine had ties to the Maine property as well as property in Connecticut. Catherine and Edgar had four children between 1904 and 1909. Sometime between 1915 and 1921 they acquired a Flexible Flyer sled. When they were in Maine the sled would rest on the porch of the Pearl Street house when it was not being used to fly down local Kennebunkport hills.
In the 1930's the sled made its way to Connecticut where local lore holds that Catherine, known locally as “Balma” would gleefully ride it belly flop style from the Library at the Gunnery School in Washington Depot, CT down to the Mayflower Inn.
In 2012 the sled ended up in an estate sale in Connecticut where a friend of Erik’s son Jonathan came across the now antique Flexible Flyer. The friend got talking with Lee Auchincloss and realized that the sled had ties to the property now owned by Jonathan’s father. She scooped up the sled and gave it to Jonathan who presented it to Erik for Christmas. It is pretty amazing that this lovely sled managed to make its way back home to the porch where it used to rest in the early 1900s.
For folks interested in the history of Flexible Flyer sleds, the No. 5C model was produced between 1915 to about 1928. This series utilized an all steel front end initiated on the Tuxedo Racer a few years before. Part way through the series the logo on the center of the sled was modified. In 1921 the eagle in the logo started carrying a sled whereas before it was an American shield. We know that this particular sled was manufactured before 1921 because in the logo the eagle carries an American shield.