The McLaughlin Story: 150 Years of Carriages, Cars, and Canada
“At first, the automobile was the enemy… they were going to put carriage makers out of business,” Snyder says. Eventually, however, the McLaughlins came around, partnered with General Motors, and became the largest car manufacturer in Canada. If you’ve ever wondered why General Motors Canada is in Oshawa, you can thank the McLaughlins. And next time you have a Canada Dry Ginger Ale, raise a glass to its founder, John J. McLaughlin, Robert’s oldest son.
“Every vehicle has a story,” says Snyder. After working with the collection for 36 years, he knows them all – where each carriage came from, who owned it, what notable people have ridden in it, and what restorations have been made. “The Queen rode in this one,” Snyder says of an elegant carriage while lowering the steps, “and this is how she got in.” Unless you’re royalty, you’re not getting in, but you can get your photo taken in the stagecoach used in Shanghai Noon by Jackie Chan and Lucy Liu. Incidentally, the stagecoach is a fibreglass replica made by Don Remington, the museum’s namesake.