For nearly 300 years, horseshoe pitching has been one of our most popular backyard games.
Up until the early 1900s, all you ever needed to play were four shoes, which you could buy or borrow from any barn or blacksmith shop, two iron stakes, and a willing opponent.
Today, you can buy the whole setup from many retail stores. Almost everyone has played the game at some time in his or her life. Daniel Webster was a famous horseshoe pitcher, as was Abraham Lincoln, while George Washington excelled at quoits.
The origin of horseshoe pitching is somewhat obscure, but the game began in Rome as quoits, with flattened iron rings which were tossed at two stakes projecting one inch from the ground and located eighteen feet apart. Quoits was very popular in the 17th century in England, and in this country during Colonial times. In time, horseshoe pitching became the more popular of the two games.