Westmoreland Drive Shed

Westmoreland Drive Shed

Objects and Documents
Videos

Westmoreland Drive Shed

The drive shed was built in the early to mid nineteenth century and used by the First Congregational Church of Westmoreland, New York. The congregation housed their horses and wagons in the shed during church services and other gatherings. Drive sheds were often found at churches in the nineteenth century, but since the invention of automobiles, they have become extremely rare.  Originally, this shed probably had seven bays but has been shortened to include fewer bays today.

A Dominque Chicken wanders by Westmoreland Drive shed

Animal Power

For most of the nineteenth century, animals served as the main source of power on the farm. Teams of horses and oxen pulled carts with heavy loads, plowed acres of land, and drove the family into town and to church.

The Farmers’ Museum has three Percheron Draft horses. The Percheron were commonly used on farms for the heavy work. Today, our horses plow fields and pull the wagon ride for visitors here at the museum. One of our horses, Zeb, is retired and no longer has to pull the wagon.  Now, we have two young Percheron, Dick and Dock, who work the farm. This breed of horse is know for its strength, intelligence, and willingness to do hard work.

In the 1800’s, oxen were a more common work animal than teams of horses. They were very strong and did the brunt of the heavy moving on the farms.

The Farmers’ Museum regularly raises and trains teams of oxen from birth. We continue the tradition of training them from a very young age to work together. This is done by placing the pair of young steer together in a yoke. As the steer grow, new and larger yokes are used. To be considered oxen the pair of steer must be four years old.

Farmers' Museum Horses

Farmer's Museum Oxen

Related Objects and Documents


Warning: preg_match(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 12 in /home/customer/www/harvestofhistory.org/public_html/wp-content/plugins/js_composer/include/classes/shortcodes/vc-basic-grid.php on line 184

Doctor’s Saddlebags

Physicians often made house calls to care for their patients. Since many physicians traveled by horseback, these saddlebags allowed doctors to transport their medicines and equipment safely. The saddlebags are made of leather and could be put over the back of a horse or over the doctor’s shoulder.  

Rates of Toll Broadside

In the early nineteenth century, turnpikes, also known as toll roads, crossed New York State. These roads were much different than modern paved highways. They were little more than dirt roads. These roads gave farmers a route to bring their goods to market. Farmers, and other travelers, had to pay a toll to travel on the … Continue reading Rates of Toll Broadside

Sleigh

Winter allowed farmers time to travel and socialize. The first stop of many village sleigh rides was often the tavern. People would fill themselves with mulled cider for warmth and eat a deliciously tasty meal.

Residence of Marshall A. Fairbanks

The Fairbanks family moved to Evans, New York (Erie County), in 1832. Marshall Fairbanks was born to John and Mary Fairbanks in August of 1835. They lived in a frame house on one hundred acres of land. They grew wheat, oats, barley, buckwheat, corn, potatoes, bran, and apples, as well as making maple molasses, wine, … Continue reading Residence of Marshall A. Fairbanks

Harrow

After plowing, the large clumps of dirt needed to be broken up in order to level the field. To do this, a farmer would have used a harrow like this. The harrow would have been pulled by a strong horse or a pair of oxen. This harrow is called a folding A-frame harrow because of … Continue reading Harrow

Haying

This 1882 oil painting by Theodore Robinson illustrates the change in technology toward wheeled farm equipment. This riding reaper, or cutter, reduced the amount of physical labor needed to harvest crops. The horses pulled the reaper, and it cut automatically. The farmer only had to direct the horses. This painting also illustrates how women played … Continue reading Haying

Horseshoe

Horseshoes were very common in a blacksmith’s shop. The blacksmith would not only make the shoes by hammering and shaping hot iron, but he would also assist farmers by putting the shoes on their horses.

Stagecoach

The tavern was often a stop on a stage coach route. It allowed the driver and the passengers to stop for a rest, a meal, or a drink. Travelers could also pay for a room and stay the night. During the mid-nineteenth century, people used many forms of transportation to travel including trains, steamboats, packet boats, various wheeled vehicles, and walking on … Continue reading Stagecoach

Related Videos Coming Soon