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Bulloch History by Roger Allen
Pushmobiles race around Boro
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    In the early 1900s, local Statesboro boys became ingenious in building their own automobiles, of a sort. Called “Pushmobiles,” they were essentially four wheels with a very basic frame and some sort of steering mechanism. They became a craze nationwide, and indeed it wasn’t long before pushmobile clubs formed.
    Eddie Rickenbacker, the famous World War I Flying Ace and a very successful professional driver, who raced in the Indianapolis 500 three times, wrote that his first true love as a boy was building and racing pushmobiles. The first formal pushmobile race is believed to have taken place in Flushing, Long Island on Nov. 17, 1906.
    The first known formal race in Statesboro, however, didn’t take place until the afternoon of Friday, Jan. 26, 1912. The scene was grand, and the audience of between 700 and 800 citizens was excited. The race track had been very carefully laid out. The 12 cars entered were to go around the courthouse square 10 times, for a total distance of some one and one-half miles. In Statesboro, there were fewer entries and smaller prizes, but no one really cared.
    Car #1 was a “Bentz” driven by “Rabbit” Caruthers; car #2 was a “National” driven by Lester Wilson; car #3, a “Fiat” by Leo Kimmel; car #4, also a “Bentz,” was driven by Shelton Paschal; car #5 was a “Mormon” driven by Fred Waters; car #6 was also a “Fiat,” driven by Snooks Davis; car #7 was another “Fiat” driven by Lester Young; car #8 was a “Buick 100” driven by Horace Samples; car #9 was a “Lozier” driven by Charlie Fordham.
    Car #10, a “Mercer,” was driven by Robin Quattlebaum; car #11 was a “Cole 30”driven by Lovell Anderson; and car #12 was a “Stutz” driven by Bernard McDougald. Once the race got underway, reports indicated time seemed to slow down as the racers piloted the course. The final results, when announced, were startling for the time. The winner, Car #5 driven by Fred Waters, completed the course in 9 minutes and 17 seconds.
    The winner’s cash purse came to $1.50. Second place went to Car # 12 and Bernard McDougald, who finished in 9 minutes and 42 seconds. His prize was $1. Third place went to Car #11 and Lovell Anderson who finished in 10 minutes and 7 seconds. He took home 75 cents for his efforts. Fourth place went to Car #9 and Charlie Fordham, who finished in 10 minutes and 30 seconds. His prize was 50 cents.
    It was reported that fun was had by all, but some said the courthouse square never quite looked the same.

    Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look at Bulloch County's historical past. E-mail Roger at roger
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