Donated by Mr. Delano. Many oxen yokes were designed to harness the power of a team of two oxen. The yoke is made up of pair of bows that the farmer or teamster would put around the oxen’s neck. Hanging from the yoke between the two bows there was often a ring or some other mechanism that attached the yoke and the oxen to the load, whether that load is a wagon, a log or a plow. This particular yoke may have been used for hauling freight. These sliding yokes were developed in New England.
Sliding Oxen Yoke
from article posted in the Spring 2013 newsletter
Among the historical treasures at the Historic O’Neil Farm is the antique forge donated by Dean and Jean Fisher. the forge is another example of how things were done many years ago.
Blacksmiths and ferriers might use forges to repair iron wagon parts or shoe horses. A small forge, like the one at the farm, could have been moved from place to place if necessary but was probably kept in one area to be close to tools, fuel and a workspace.
The farm’s forge includes a fire pot where coal would have heated iron until it was red hot and malleable. A bellows or possibly a crank blower would have been fitted to the bottom of the fire pot to blow air on the coal to generate even more heat. Though we do not have the anvil or other tools that went with this forge, one can imagine tines being used to move red-hot iron onto an anvil where a blacksmith would hammer iron into whatever shape needed.
We do not know exactly how old the forge is. But it harkens back to a time before the nearby store where one could by a replacement part for just about anything. A time when a farmer might have to repair a bent tool or fashion a new iron piece in order to do what needed to be done.