- for the Michigan
Draft Horsepullers Hall of Fame
in 1922, when Everett began pulling horses, he and the Chief Wawatam would smoke
their way across the Straits of Mackinac. Remember, the BIG MAC didn't
open until 12957 and until then a ferry boat was the only way to get to the
Lower Peninsula for a contest. More then once Everett would be grabbing a
few winks and if someone didn't wake him in time, the ferry boat would go
without him and his horses.
Horses were always special to Everett. When he was 13 years old he began
working in a Michigan lumbering camp. He rented a team of horses from his
uncle for the task. Everett got paid $10 a week to work at the camp.
They charged him $5 a week to stay there. He paid his uncle $3 a week rent
for the horses. That left him $2 payment for a week's work, but he was
doing what he wanted to do.
Everett's son Joe also pulls horses. Joe claims, that his "Dad always made
me go to the horsepulling contests with him. He said he couldn't trust me
enough to behave if I stayed home. He had more faith in my brother and
sisters. They never had to go to horsepulling contests with him so they
never got caught up in the "horsepulling fever."
1975 Everett Harrison retired from his Civil Service career. He was a
Heavy Equipment Operator for the Air Force.
Following retirement, pulling horses became his full time job. He pulled
horses in Indiana, Illinois, S. Carolina and Maine until his beloved received
her Civil Service retirement. They immediately made a run for the Upper
Peninsula. For this trip they were made to use BIG MAC. As far as
they knew, the EPA had sunk the Chief Wawatam in the Straits of Mackinac...at
least all that smoke was gone from the environment.
began hooking eveners when he was 12 (later he became more trustworthy).
For those who have never experienced the Upper Peninsula, it can be a different
world. Most modern folks can't recall the ferry boats from a half
Harrisons did everything with the horses at the old home place...worked the
soil, crops, hay, manure, anything a horse could do was done by them. Joe
Harrison remembers, "We bought a tractor and the only thing we ever did with it
was hook the horses to it. In the early pulling days a stock truck was
used to haul the horses from one place to another. Back in the 1960s we
built an old trailer to haul the horses and went on from there.
remembers, "Dad's first pull was in Pickford. If Everett went to the
Stalwart Fair he would drive his horses down the day before and stay over Friday
night, let them rest that night, then they would pull horses on Saturday, stay
over Saturday night, then drive the horse home on Sunday.
used to make five trips each week from Pickford to Rudyard taking horses, hay,
logs, whatever needed moving. Rudyard was about 14 miles and was where the
railroad picked up freight. Everett had a contract for moving the horses
and supplies to other places. He always had a good attitude about things
and horses just made him smile and feel good. Any pull where he could drop
a tailgate made him happy."
Barney was one of Everett's favorite horses. He had been a part of the
team for years. It was a sad time when old Barney required more medical
help then was available, back about the same time that Everett was passing the
lines on to Joe. If Everett could make a hundred dollars at a horsepull
then he would head for the next one. That would cover the gas and eats.
the past decade, at the Kinross Fair, they present a trophy in honor of Everett
Harrison. They draw a ticket that identifies either the barrels or the
flags events and make the award accordingly. Everett would like that.
The rest of us think that is pretty cool as well. If Everett suddenly
appeared here he might say, "If they are not ready now, they will never be