Hitching post returns to family

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 August 2014 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – Descendants of Philip LeFrois are pictured today in the Town of Murray in the front yard of Steve Babcock after his great-grandfather Philip LeFrois’s hitching post was moved from his homestead to Babcock’s. Local contractor Jim Babcock removed the post and transported it to his brother’s property. Babcock is pictured at left, kneeling. He is joined by Phil Sargent, Sargent’s grandfather Ron Ayrault, Steve Babcock and Jerry LeFrois.

MURRAY – A hitching post that spent about a century in Eagle Harbor today was moved to Phillips Road in the Town of Murray. It is now in the front yard of Steve Babcock, just south of Route 104 near the Murray Superette.

The hitching post belonged to Babcock’s great-grandfather, Philip LeFrois. His local descendants wanted the post to stay in the family. They reached out to the property owner, Kevin and Joanie Kent, and they agreed to let the hitching post go to Babcock’s.

Mrs. Kent is a hospice nurse. She cared for Babcock’s wife, Annette, when she battled ovarian cancer. Mrs. Babcock died on Sept. 25, 2002 at age 44.

Her husband thanked the Kents for letting the hitching post go.

“I’m very family-oriented,” Babcock said. “Having a historical piece that goes back several generations is pretty awesome.”

Babcock had help moving the hitching post today. His brother Jim, a local contractor, had the hitching post, which weighs about 800 pounds, out of the ground, transported and reset in Murray in about an hour.

Steve marveled at the artistry in the hitching post. A quarryman who was a friend of his great-grandfather carved spear points on each side. Steve said he will try to get a ring for the post and would like to have the spot nicely landscaped with a plaque.