One of my best summer memories was riding on the dump rake! I don't remember driving the tractor for it. I think one of my brothers usually was on the tractor. I'd sit on the seat, turning back to watch how much hay accumulated in the teeth. When it looked pretty bulging full, I'd stomp on the pedal to trip the lever of the dump. The teeth, or tines, would spring up and dump the hay in a pile. I loved it! Later, Dad or my brothers would pick these piles up with the "Farmhand
Fanning mills are used to clean the chaff and weed seeds from grain. Farmers cleaned the grain they would use for seed the following year (removing weed seeds) and they also cleaned grain they would eat. Also called "winnowing machines" or "grain cleaners," they are still used today, mainly in the seed industries e.i. flower and garden seeds etc. My brother Carl Kannianen has a bigger version with basically the same idea. These pictures are from my grandfather Arthur LaBrant'
This photograph belonged to my grandfather Arthur LaBrant, who was a homesteader, but I'm not sure who it is. I love this picture though! The overturned sod in the forefront, the solid strength of the oxen, and the ambition of the homesteader as he turned over the sod foot by foot while the prairie stretched out for miles in every direction. It had to be so daunting, but they were determined. Some homesteaders used teams of horses and others used oxen. Some used mules. Horses
Harvesting in 1906 meant hiring a threshing crew to come to your homestead. Different crews traveled over the area, some coming to the same places each year. Farmers often worked on a threshing crew when done with their own place, to make extra money. The work was grueling and the conditions rough. (Photograph from the Mountrail Historical Society book, The Tales of Mighty Mountrail. Unfortunately I don't know who these men are, or who took the picture.) Before the early 1800
Peter Korhonen donated land for the Belden cemetery which was started in 1907. Over the years, many buried there no longer had families in the area which left graves uncared for. In recent years, Joyce Evans led a local bunch of volunteers who've cleaned it up and built a nice fence. And I think best of all was figuring out the names and dates of unmarked or poorly marked sites, and giving each one a headstone. Joyce Evans also wrote a book about the history of those buried h