“You hear me before you see me,” states Marty L’Herault owner of Old Town Carriage and Company. Marty and his two horses Barney and Buster, are adored by the public. The clip clop of hooves herald the familiar sight many of us are see daily if we live or work in Old Town Eureka.
According to Marty, this is one of the few horse and carriage companies within 500 miles. “I am the only one who does this six days a week. Ninety percent of the people get into the business as a hobby or do it part-time.”
Marty’s love for horses goes back to the 1980s when he drove a carriage in New York’s Central Park. In 1989, he and his wife opened the business in Eureka. In 1995, he sold it to someone in Sacramento. “There was no carriage locally for about 6 or 7 years, so I bought and started a new business.”
Marty only charges $28 for a 20-25 minute ride and $47 for a 40-45 minute ride. This charge is not per person but for the whole carriage. Even with a display sign, Marty has to explain the charges to people. They are very surprised at how reasonable his prices are and Marty has 2 regular narrated historic tour routes.
“I am very fortunate that all of the businesses and the City of Eureka want me to be here,” said Marty. Many larger areas his peers are facing extinction.
Romantic rides, families enjoying a leisurely activity, visitors learning about the area; Marty has been there for all these good times. His eyes light up when he mentions people who used to ride the carriage as children come up to him now as adults and share childhood memories.