The original barn that stood on site until 1940, is now replaced by a new building that houses various displays to help visitors understand the rural way of life as it would have been in Montgomery’s time.
The courtyard on the other other side of the barn has been restored.
Mechanization of farms began in the 1800′s and horse drawn threshers, binders, seeders and reapers were all essential pieces of farm equipment.
Horses such as Percheron’s or Clydesdale’s suitable for farm work were a very valuable commodity and cost as much as $400 each (more than a year’s income for most farms) but were an essential part of farming life.
Turnip Pulper and Seeder
A staple or people and livestock, turnips were almost as important as potatoes on Island farms. They wintered well, if kept from freezing in a pit or root cellar. Some farmers fed them to their livestock whole. Others chopped them in a pulper, added grain and chaff for filler and boiled the mixture to make a delicious mash. Special seeders were used to plant fields of turnips.
This labour saving device consisted of a large set of tines that hung from a pulley, which in turn ran along a metal track. A team of horses pulling a rope could easily hoist up a loaded hayfork to the loft where it was then pulled inside to drop it’s load. Lifting great forkfuls at a time a hayfork could make short work of a loaded wagon.
The threshing machine was used to separate the edible kernels from the inedible straw and chaff. Bundles of wheat, oats or barley were fed in one end of the machine which was connected to a horsepower by a drive belt. The resulting grain was either made into flour, used to feed the livestock, or kept to plant next year’s crop. The straw was used for animal bedding and the chaff as “filler” in the livestock feed.