Saturday, June 27, 2015

Bio #20 - The Old Barn

Years ago there were no tractors or "cats," (heavy machinery), so things had to be moved by horses and men, along with beams and steel rollers four feet long. There was a sort of body or framework the horses were hitched do. There were usually eight horses, and it was a special skill the lot of these men (the wranglers who handled the horses) had. The big beams had to roll on the rollers to make any progress and on the level, it was quite easy. As soon as the rollers slid out the back, the men would carry them to the front, and set them in place, to continue rolling. Big two story houses were all moved in this fashion, so were small stores and barns.

Now when we moved to Third Street, there was a good sized barn behind the house. Dad left it there for a year or more, and then Nicholsons wanted to buy it. They had a dairy farm and they wanted a cow in town too, so Dad sold the barn. We lived on a hill, so you can imagine how hard it was to move it. Up or down, there was this hill, about 35 degree slant. We were really excited the day the men came to move it, but Mom made us all stay inside, to keep out of the way. I had my nose glued to the windows all that time. One poor horse must have been uncomfortable as he kept lifting one leg and putting it one side and then over the other side of this twelve inch beam. I felt might sorry for him and it bothered me a lot. I can still see it.
Moving a house in Australia; similar to the process Letty describes
We used to play in that barn and Dad put a swing in there for us. Good job none of us smoked. After it was moved away, Dad enlarged the garden, and there was one patch where all he planted went yellow. He guessed there was a gas leak, and the Gas Company dug it up. It turned out it was a bad one, and he also said it was a wonder the old barn wasn't blown to smithereens long ago. So we were a lucky lot I think.

We also had a chicken house on the land, Dad made into a workshop. He fixed it up nice and spent many hours there.