Charlie decided he had to test Scrub to prove his boast that he had the best horse in town.
In April 1889, Cross and a friend rode in a carriage over a measured course starting at the bridge in Hudson and ending at the railroad depot in Londonderry. The horse cantered the 14 miles in just 60 minutes.
While it’s true that a quarter horse can gallop at 50 mph, that’s only for short bursts. It’s doubtful even the great Secretariat could equal that speed for such a long race pulling a carriage with two passengers.
I wonder if Dr. Butterfield would like to see if his team today could equal the time set by Scrub 124 years ago. I’ll ride shotgun.
Rick Holmes is the official town historian of Derry. His office hours at the Municipal Center are Mondays from 8 a.m. to noon and Wednesdays from 4 to 7 p.m. Several of his books on local history are available at Mack’s Apples and Derry’s libraries.