The livery stable at the Collins Inn on Boston Road in North Wilbraham, around 1895. Image courtesy of the Wilbraham Public Library.
The scene in 2015:
This is the same building seen in the previous post, just from a different angle and several years later. Although the photo is undated, there is at least one clue that gives a good indication of when it was taken. Just below the large “Livery” sign, there are posters for Buffalo Bill’s Wild West, which was performing in Springfield on “Thursday, May 23.” There appears to have been a performance in Springfield on that day in 1895, and it was a Thursday, so the photo was probably taken around that time.
In the days before automobiles, livery stables such as these would have provided stabling and feed for horses, and the carriages out front show a variety of horse-drawn carriages that would have been used at the time. One of the carriages has two young children sitting in it, so perhaps the man posing with the horse is about to hitch it to that carriage. He is presumably an employee of the stables, which was operated as part of the Collins Inn next to it.
At the time that the first photo was taken, cars were just starting to be developed, but within about 20 years they would essentially replace horses, putting livery stables like these out of business. Perhaps not coincidentally, the Collins Inn closed in 1915. I don’t know when the stables were demolished, but it seems fitting that the modern equivalent, a gas and repair station, now stands on the site.