Adopt-a-Dodge: Supporting the Preservation of the Dodge Brothers Legacy

1925 Dodge Brothers Depot Hackney

Meadow Brook Hall purchased the 1925 Dodge Brothers Depot Hack from a Dodge Brothers Club member in 2014. Photo courtesy of Meadow Brook Hall

To show support to preserving the Dodge legacy, the author of this blog has “adopted” a Dodge car  — a 1925 Dodge Brothers Depot Hackney — one of the historic vehicles in the Meadow Brook Hall Dodge Brothers automobile collection.

Adopt a Dodge

The inscription on the Adoption Certificate reads:

adopted by Jeanne Gartner in memory of her grandfather, Lewis Reed, who founded Reed Brothers Dodge in Rockville, Maryland in October 1915.

Depot Hackneys, later called station wagons, were designed to transport tourists and luggage from train stations to area hotels. Several companies made the wooden bodies, which would be installed on the chassis of different brands of cars. This truck is a very rare piece of Dodge history. Today, we call this type of vehicle a Taxi, which is what the word Hackney means. “Hack” is an abbreviated form of Hackney.

Madelyn Rzadkowolski, Curator at Meadow Brook Hall added, “The 1925 Depot Hack needs some work so your contribution in memory of your grandfather will really make a difference. Among other things, it needs new tires… two of them went flat last weekend when we were winterizing the cars.”

The vehicle was adopted for a period of one year, beginning November 14, 2017 through November 13, 2018 (November 14 is the anniversary of the day John and Horace Dodge revealed their first car in 1914). The adoption will help Meadow Brook make necessary repairs, provide preventative maintenance and pay insurance for the Depot Hack, ensuring it’s there to inspire, educate and “drive” this and future generations. Lewis Reed is a perfect and most fitting parent.

1925 Doge Brothers Depot Hack

1925 Dodge Brothers Depot Hack. Photo courtesy Meadow Brook Hall

Adopt a Dodge

Meadow Brook Magazine, Fall 2017

MEADOW BROOK HALL in Rochester Hills, Michigan was the estate of one of the world’s wealthiest and influential women of her time, Matilda Dodge Wilson. Matilda was the wife of John F. Dodge, co-founder of the Dodge Brothers Motor Car Company. Named a National Historic Landmark in 2012, MEADOW BROOK HALL strives to preserve and interpret its architecture, landscape, and fine and decorative art so that visitors may be entertained, educated and inspired by history.

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About Reed Brothers

I am a co-owner of the former Reed Brothers Dodge in Rockville, Maryland. Lewis Reed, the founder of Reed Brothers Dodge was my grandfather. We were a family-owned and operated car dealership in Rockville for almost a century. I served in the United States Air Force for 30 years before retiring in the top enlisted grade of Chief Master Sergeant in July 2006. In 2016, I received the Arthur M. Wagman Award for Historic Preservation Communication from Peerless Rockville for documenting the history of Reed Brothers Dodge in both blog and book format. This distinguished honor recognizes outstanding achievement by writers, educators, and historians whose work has heightened public awareness of Rockville’s architectural and cultural heritage, growth and development.

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