Incidents On The Farm

| September/October 1991

  • Threshing crew
    John B. Mulford Jr., Penrith Farm, 8894 Upper Lake Road, Lodi, New York 14860, sent this photograph.
    John B. Mulford

  • Threshing crew

419 E. Church Street, Stevens, Pennsylvania 17578

When I was about 12 or 13 years old, my older brothers needed somewhere to work. Perhaps at the neighbors tobacco cutting or haying. Dad had cut hay and put most in the barn the day before. Then, with only two or three loads left, he said, 'Dan, you and I will have to get that hay in today. Think we can do it with John to ride the horse?'

We put up the hay loose, no bales. First we pulled the wagon in front of the hay loader. Follow the windrow hay comes up the chute, all of you old timers remember. Dad then forks the hay evenly over the wagon till full. Going down grade Dad yelled, 'Not so fast, I can't keep up!'

I, 12 or so, thought I was a man, but those big draft horses were hard to hold. I'm holding as hard as I can. Who a, Bill, steady Fred, not so fast, we are burying Dad in the hay! Finally the wagon is full.

Now to the barn. Our bam had a track and hay hook track along the very peak inside the roof. There was a stop catch on the track. You park the wagon under the stop, pull the hay hook with the trip rope a good tug and slam into the stop. Click, and down comes the hay hook. Now open the hook, set the four prongs into the hay, stump on them to set them in good. Now, you yell 'Okay.' Grab the trip rope and stand back. This complete contraption was mounted with a hay rope about 11/4' hemp with pulley arrangement leading outside. There we had one or two horses to pull the rope.

This rope goes from the horses into the barn via pulleys up the frame to the end of the track in the peak of the barn. Then to the stop, down to hook on the wagon and back up to the carriage. When you yell, 'okay,' the horses pull the rope. The rope pulls the hook up from wagon with a load of hay up to the stop catch. A loud click and where away goes the hay to the loft.


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