Photos: Teamster horses bring union’s history to life in Blaine

Before they were driving 18-wheelers and UPS trucks, Teamsters drove horses. The union’s name refers to the people who drove a team of horses pulling a wagon, and the Teamsters’ logo still features two horses, Thunder and Lightning, to this day.

It’s a history lesson Teamsters Local 120 brought to life Aug. 25 at its union hall in Blaine, where Thunder and Lightning (or their descendants, anyway) made a guest appearance, offering wagon rides to members and their families.

Shawn Gordon, a member of Teamsters Local 41 from Kansas City, Mo., travels across the country with Thunder and Lightning as part of his nonprofit organization, dedicated to raising awareness of the Teamsters’ early history.

Gordon’s nonprofit has retrofitted an old freight wagon with benches that are perfect for leisurely rides, and he sits in the driver’s seat, dressed like a Teamster might have around the time of the union’s founding in 1903.

“The wagon you’re in is a little fancier than they would’ve used back then, but it’s a freight wagon,” Gordon told riders in Blaine. “And this is the original way people got their goods.

“We’re trying to preserve that, to keep our heritage alive and remember where we came from as a union. At the same time, we want to try and get younger people engaged again, to use the past to reflect our future.”


  1. Outstanding from the Teamster Horsemen Motorcycle Association

%d bloggers like this: