Saturday, June 6, 2015

My Family Plow

One of my earliest posts way back in 2009 was about the simple plow. In that post I mentioned that as a boy I had remembered often seeing a horse/mule drawn shovel plow that my grandfather and his two sisters had shared on their neighboring south central Kentucky farms.

My guess is that the history of that plow probably goes way beyond that of my grandfather's generation. Being that it is a wood-beam plow hints that at least parts of it likely go back to the nineteenth century. It is difficult to be definitive on its age, as the only real significant change over time was the move from wood-beam to iron/steel-beam plows near the turn of the twentieth century.

Well, when my grandmother passed away in 2010, I got to get reacquainted with the old plow. In fact, I felt such a draw to this piece of family history that I bid and won it when pieces of her estate were auctioned the following fall. I kept the plow in a storage closet at my apartment while I live in Frankfort. When I moved to Petersburg, the plow made the 500 mile trip with me. But finding that I had no place to store the old plow I needed to find it a new home.

I donated the family plow to Pamplin Historical Park where it will be eventually used to help interpret various agricultural implements. I think it will make a good fit, as the shovel plow was commonly found on South Side Virginia farms and plantations throughout the nineteenth century.

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