State Historic Site
Trail End & Carriage House, 1909 (Murff Collection, TESHS)
Carriage House interior, about 1910 (Kendrick Collection, TESHS)
WHEN THE KENDRICKS first moved into Sheridan in 1908, they rented rooms at the Sheridan Inn and later rented a small house on South Main Street. Since they expected construction of Trail End to take only a year or so, this did not seem like such a hardship. In 1910, however, work was halted for nearly two years when a drought caused such serious reversals in the cattle market that John Kendrick had no extra cash to spend on construction. He even felt the need to cut back on living expenses. Since it was already built and paid for, Eula got the idea to move into the carriage house. As author Frances Parkinson Keyes noted in 1931,
The planning, erection, and completion of this house took longer than had been foreseen - not an unusual experience in home building, but one which proved trying to a woman who disliked procrastination in any form as much as Eula Kendrick. She decided to go and live in the barn, which was nearly completed but which had not yet been put to its intended use, and oversee the work.
While construction on Trail End was taking place, the Kendricks and their cook all lived in the carriage house, adapting it for use as a comfortable abode. The horse stalls, complete with polished wood floors, concrete water troughs, cast iron hay chutes and elaborate railings, served as bedrooms for Rosa-Maye and the cook. Another was put to use as a temporary kitchen. The parents slept upstairs in the hay loft and Manville camped out in the main carriage room.
Electricity was used to light the carriage house but not to heat it: before the addition of modern methods, heat was provided by means of steam piped from the basement of the main house to the carriage house through a concrete conduit running under the gravel service drive.
Although the carriage house was built to house carriages and teams of horses, it was never used for that purpose. While the Kendricks lived in the carriage house, their horses were housed in a livery stable just below the hill near Kendrick Park. By the time the family was ready to move out of their makeshift home in 1913, they were in possession of two 1912 Cadillac automobiles, which occupied the carriage room. The few horses actually residing on the grounds and spending the nights in the horse stalls were kept for Rosa-Maye and Manville to train and ride.