The launch of the Trail

The smithy, close to the Blane, predates 1860, and has been in continuous use since then, latterly for metal fabrication. It was particularly busy during the inter-war period, with a good reputation for training apprentices. It also, somewhat surprisingly, exported horseshoes to Canada.

The house across the road was also there before 1860. It acted as a toll house and at various times was a shop and petrol station. The smithy used to be on the crossroads between the Killearn–Finnich road and the Strathblane–Aberfoyle road. It was the site of a number of motor accidents. As a result, the roads were realigned with the construction of a large roundabout at the bottom of Station Road.

Beyond the smithy, the old road comes to Croy Cunningham. The farm was associated with the Cunningham family from the late 16th century. By the 19th century, the farm was run by the Galbraith family. Alexander Galbraith gained a national reputation for his improvements in the breeding of Clydesdale horses. From the 1840s onwards, he won many championship prizes for his Clydesdales. The substantial steadings at Croy Cunningham were designed to provide appropriate facilities for maintaining horses of such high quality. The buildings have now been converted into seven houses.

In 1881, four of his sons formed a business in the USA importing Clydesdale, Suffolk and Shire horses. Over the next 12 years, they imported nearly a thousand horses to Wisconsin, some from Croy Cunningham. One son, Alexander, was renowned as a lecturer on horse breeding and agricultural improvements and as a show judge in both the USA and Canada. He died in Edmonton in 1928, just as working horses were being replaced by the arrival of tractors.