In 1938, Mr. and Mrs. Albert (Miriam)Van Court became interested in starting a Dachshund kennel. They chose to purchase a few Dachshunds to become breeding stock and to have a few to show themselves. First, they bought from the East Coast, including two full brothers, CH Eric v Stahlhaus and Am/Can CH Cid Junior of Lakelands, both top producers and excellent show dogs. Bred by Mrs. Maude Daniels Smith, they were sired by CH Cid v Werderhervelstrand and out of CH Harriet v Stahlhaus, and they had already produced their own string of champions. Of course, more were added, and CH Eric v Stahlhaus ended his career the sire of twelve champions, including CH Cornhill Goldie of Dachshafen, CH Marigold v Dachshafen, CH Cornhill Beska (all three owned by the Van Courts) and CH Cornhill Lenska. He also sired CH Eric Again vd Daniels and CH Ebony Eric vd Daniels, who were both, in turn, sires of many champions for the Daniels family. His puppies became very important in the whelping boxes of these newer Dachshund breeders.
Cid Junior lived from June 1937 to December of 1948. Bred to his niece, Am/Can CH Cornhill Goldie v Dachshafen, a CH Eric v Stahlhaus daughter, he produced several great prospects, including CH Moto’s Pride of White Gables, Goldilocks and Lucy Locket, along with several more which placed Goldie on the Top Producer list for many years. Cid Junior produced 15 champions and, again, was a Top Producer for the breed.
CH Cornhill Goldie v Dachshafen, who lived from April 15, 1937 to March 1947, produced several worthy champions for White Gables Kennel, including Sungold of White Gables, Goldilocks of White Gables, White Gables Mehitabel, White Gables Merry-Go-Round and Moto’s Pride of White Gables. She was a great mate for CH Cid Junior of Lakelands, and their offspring provided a great start for the White Gables Kennel. Mehitabel was similarly a great producer for the home team bred to another of their purchased stud dogs, CH Cavalier v Marienlust, while Merry-Go-Round was a star for the Bucknams. Moto’s Pride of White Gables was an excellent special for Florence Keller of Little Gate Kennel, also producing beautifully in the whelping box.
That third sire, CH Cavalier v Marienlust, purchased by Kippy and Miriam was another famous East Coaster, bred by the Joseph Mehrers of near NYC. Sired by CH Leutnant v Marienlust, he was an excellent choice in that he was a beautifully line-bred dog. His maternal grandfather was CH Cid v Werderhervelstrand, also the sire of his dam, Moya v Marienlust. Leutnant made the qualities for which they were breeding more prepotent. They got the smaller bodies, great heads, fronts and rears for which they had been selecting. CH White Gables Mehitabel produced many champions with Cavalier, among them CH White Gables Basil, CH White Gables Gadabout, CH White Gables Rosemary, CH White Gables Marjoram, CH White Gables Onyx, CH White Gables Colette and CH White Gables Thyme. Cavalier also sired many winners for other kennels, like the Black Forest Kennel and the Dachshafen Kennel of Maude Daniels Smith. CH Bucknam’s Merrymaker CD, a Cavalier son out of CH White Gables Merry-Go-Round, a Cid Jr ex Goldie daughter, was a top winner and produced very well for the Buckman family.
Lastly, CH White Gables Basil, a Cavalier ex Mehitabel son, was the last of these Top Producers for the Van Courts and made quite a nice mark on the breed, even though his closest rival was the “atom bomb of a dog” CH Favorite v Marienlust! Basil’s breeding made it sort of impossible for the Van Courts to breed to him often, but he was used by the Shultises of Gera Kennel, the Hirschmans of the Bergman Kennel and many others in the area. His offspring certainly helped the modern Dachshund develop, as these beginners in the breed (the Van Courts, the Shultises , the Bergmans and, of course, the Heyings) wanted the Dachshund to become longer and lower than his predecessor. Basil’s offspring were very influential among these breeders, making a definitive mark on the Dachshund in the United States.
Even though their males were very influential, as breeders and exhibitors, Mr. and Mrs. Van Court always felt that their bitches were the backbone of the kennel. They were so proud of all their champion bitches, including Goldie, Mehitabel and Fussbudget, who were critical to the success of White Gables. Their brood bitches were so consistent, White Gables even had one year (1946) in which they finished eight champions! Such was their influence that for years after, very few dogs in the US did not have some White Gables behind them. They made quite a mark on the American Dachshund.
Unfortunately, Mrs. Van Court died quite suddenly on November 11, 1952. This loss was tragic for the Dachshund fancy. Even though she had been having health problems for years before this fatal episode, her loss was still quite a surprise and was difficult for White Gables to overcome.
Her friend, Mrs. Ramona L. Andrews , donated a trophy to the Sierra Dachshund Breeders Club for Best of Breed in Miriam’s honor. Mrs. Andrews also became the new Mrs. Van Court, and so this story will continue in the next installment…