Home KY Wagons Ho!

Wagons Ho!

by Richie

A neighbor has hauled out a lifetime collection of wagons and horse-drawn farm equipment. The machines are lined up in a large field. It looks like a roadside museum.



Two local brothers spent decades collecting every type of horse-drawn wagon and farm machine ever made. There’s hundreds of antique equipment on display in a big field. It will all be auctioned off next month.

The brothers carefully curated this collection, buying one piece at a time. And now these lovely antiques will be sold, one piece at a time. They will disappear back into sheds and barns, dispersed around the region, until some collector gathers them all in one place again. Funny how that works.

I like to think about all the hands that were involved in making these machines. Blacksmiths, wheelwrights, wagon makers, and foundry workers who took pride in crafting these implements.

Then think of those who toiled with these machines. The farmer might have sold a hog or two to buy the equipment, thrilled to own such a marvelous labor-saving device.

Generations of horses and mules labored just as hard to pull these machines. They worked the fields, too, so the farmer could feed his family.

Really, it wasn’t that long ago that everything was done with a horse. Lots of back-breaking work. How’d you like to ride on an iron seat all day!

Tractors universally replaced the horse and plow by the 1940’s, and these old-fashioned machines were abandoned along the fence rows. What once was a source of pride was discarded. That’s called progress.

I’m glad there are folks who value these antiques. It’s part of our shared history.

We’ve got a few horse-drawn machines in our barn. Maybe I should start a collection?

And at the Shelburne Museum in Vermont, my great-grandfather’s blacksmith shop is on display. If you ever get up there, look for the Dubuc Building.




Barbara September 20, 2022 - 11:32 am

These pix are superb — the lighting/time of day so perfect for what you captured and the story this tells — wonderful!

Richie September 20, 2022 - 2:21 pm

Thanks, Barb! It was worth getting up early to catch the morning fog!

Beth Daniels September 16, 2022 - 12:48 pm

I have to admit that I was impressed at seeing the bones of Conestoga wagons which made their way from sea to shining sea in the past. Also recalled my Mom telling me that before she and Daddy were married he took her up to his mother’s family farm where the three of my grandmother’s siblings who never married kept the farm going. There were horses and Daddy talked Mom into getting on the back of one of them. She said it kept turning its head to give her a dirty look and feared it was going to bite her. Despite Daddy swearing that “yes, these horses are ridden” when they got back to the barn his uncle said, “well, no wonder it didn’t like you riding it. These animals are only used for pulling farm equipment.” This would have been the early 1940s. No idea when Uncle Leonard upgraded to engines rather than horses as when I was little and we visited, there were only pigs and chickens that I remember, though Mom says I just don’t remember watching Aunt Jose (Josephine) milking a cow when I was a toddler. Wish I could remember what was still in the barn when we did visit. Have a feeling that because we were city kids, we were told to stay away from the barn as the hogs were dangerous and we were afraid of the chickens, which meant adult escort was required to use the outhouse that was still in use in the 1950s. The upgrade to indoor plumbing didn’t come until the 1960s, and a telephone was only added in the 1970s! Definitely very rural farm county Ohio. Really cool collection your neighbors are moving on to new homes.

Peggy+Hoffman September 16, 2022 - 12:39 pm

You buying? What a collection to see!

Birgit September 16, 2022 - 11:51 am

Awesome blog post. Thanks for sharing!

Gene+Hoffman September 16, 2022 - 10:31 am

When I looked at the wagons in the first couple of pictures, I thought about my many ancestors that arrived on the east coast in the 1700’s and made their way west, one state at a time over several generations, until they made it to Kansas in the middle 1800’s.

Richie September 16, 2022 - 11:33 am

You come from hale & hardy stock!

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