Author Topic: shipping hay  (Read 9849 times)

Jeff Schumaker

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shipping hay
« on: August 18, 2012, 12:35:10 AM »
I don't know if this has been discussed  before on the forum. If so, please point me to the appropriate thread. How was hay shipped on the WW&F? I know boxcars were used, but was the hay baled or loose?

Jeff Schumaker
« Last Edit: August 18, 2012, 05:42:50 PM by Jeff Schumaker »
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Dana Deering

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Re: shipping hay
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2012, 06:23:41 PM »
I'll venture a guess.  In the days before tractors and hay balers the hay was put into the barn loose.  Some farmers who sold hay owned hay presses (you can see one at the farm Museum at the Fryeburg Fairgrounds) and the hay was baled in the press and tied with wire and then shipped out.  I have also seen stationary balers.  In either case the hay was brought to the machine and baled.  Later balers were designed to pick the hay up form the windrows and bale it in the field.  I think that was after the WW&Fs time.  I think the hay shipped on the WW&F was pressed, hauled to a Team Track and shipped in boxcars.

Mike the Choochoo Nix

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Re: shipping hay
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2012, 01:40:50 AM »
We don't think about it much now, but back in the day shipping hay to the cities was a big thing. Horses moved everything around the cities and needed a lot of hay. Here in central Minnesota there was a two mile spur to some quarrys and off of that was a spur long enough to hold several standard gauge cars. It was next to a meadow and was even called it the "hay spur".
Mike Nix
Mike Nix

Jeff Schumaker

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Re: shipping hay
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2014, 12:48:26 AM »
I'll venture a guess.  In the days before tractors and hay balers the hay was put into the barn loose.  Some farmers who sold hay owned hay presses (you can see one at the farm Museum at the Fryeburg Fairgrounds) and the hay was baled in the press and tied with wire and then shipped out.  I have also seen stationary balers.  In either case the hay was brought to the machine and baled.  Later balers were designed to pick the hay up form the windrows and bale it in the field.  I think that was after the WW&Fs time.  I think the hay shipped on the WW&F was pressed, hauled to a Team Track and shipped in boxcars.

So the hay press was the manual predecessor to the hay bailer?

Jeff S.
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Terry Harper

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Re: shipping hay
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2014, 12:14:14 AM »
While not directly related to the WW&F this thread brought to mind a story related to me a number of years ago concerning the Eagle Lake & West Branch or more accurately the field surrounding the EL&WB.

During the railroads operating season (June through November) Joe Giguere ran the Plymouth switcher at Tramway. During the winter he drove a Lombard tractor out of Churchill. His family had a cabin on the Jaw's road. Anyway, one year Joe and a young friend decided to get some hay off the field at Tramway. They made a raft they could tow behind Joe's boat which had an early outboard.

At Tramway Joe made a crude hay press which would press the hay into bales which could be tied with wire and then loaded onto the raft. With the raft loaded-up they headed back to Churchill. All went well until the outboard caught on fire. Somehow they found themselves abandoning the boat for the raft loaded with hay which may have been akin to jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. Anyway... desperate to save themselves and their flammable cargo Joe managed to un-screw the motor mounts using a long pole following which the flaming outboard sank with a hiss to the bottom of the lake. They were eventually rescued by some fisherman who happened along.

Interestingly a few years ago I was interviewing an elderly gentleman who along with other members of his family lived and worked in the Allagash in the 1920's and 30's. When I told him that story he jumped out of his chair shouting "That was me! That was me! I was with Joe that day!!"

Needless to say, that moment was one of the high points of my historical research.

Best regards,

Terry Harper

Dana Deering

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Re: shipping hay
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2015, 08:19:14 PM »
Jeff,

     A hay press could be run off a one lunger or a horse powered treadmill.

Dana

Fred Morse

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Re: shipping hay
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2015, 12:23:44 PM »
My Dad told me they put the hay in the barn loose and in the fall when the bailing people showed up they took the hay from the barn to the bailer than placed the bails back in the barn. They may have just bailed the hay that was to be sold. I always thought it was a steam driven bailer, I just don't know. That had to be around 1900 to 1910. era. I know my Dad used to carry water to the men cutting the hay in the summer. These were hay cutters that came in a group of about seven using stythe in a staggered line moving around the field all day. One summer being water boy earned him enought to buy an Old Town canoe new for Thirty Five dollars. Not bad! 

Dana Deering

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Re: shipping hay
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2015, 11:13:05 AM »
Fred,

     I have also seen a stationary baler operating at the Farm Museum at the Fryeburg Fair.  They also have a hay press.  Like you say, the hay was brought to the baler or press in those days.

Dana