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Annual plow days keep history alive at Sones Museum

By Staff | Apr 17, 2012

Ed Johnson from Millville is plowing farm land on John Brady Drive with his two Haflinger horses.

MUNCY – There are those who like to use machines, there are those who like to do things by hand, and there are those who like to do work with the help of animals. This was greatly illustrated on Saturday at the Sones Farm and Home Museum when owners, Oliver and Mary Sones opened their living history museum to the public for the season on Saturday, April 14.

Teamsters of draft horse clubs came to plow the farm land and demonstrate how the land was tilled for farming. “This is our ninth year for the event,” said Oliver, “and we have added many new items.”

Located at the junction of John Brady Drive and Industrial Park Drive in Muncy Township, ten teams of horses gave an exhibition of historic significance during the day so younger audiences can gain a better understanding of how things used to be. The horses used harrows to break up the ground and smooth the soil. Ploughs were used for deeper tilling. Harrowing breaks up clumps of soil making it suitable for seed bed use. “Coarser harrowing can also remove the weeds before covering the seeds after sowing,” explained Pam Johnson from Milville who came with her husband Ed with their two Haflinger horses.

These horses are also used for pulling wagons and carriages. “They have dual purposes,” Johnson said. “These animals are meant to work. They want to do it,” she added. “Years ago, this is how people would get their gardens ready.” Not only do they plow, but the horses are also used to spread manure and fertilizer out in the fields. “They need this,” said Johnson about the working horses.

The horses were in teams of two, and they came from all over according to Sones. Kids really enjoyed the wagon rides. A fancy carriage with two riding black Percheron horses, named Kate and Classy, were supplied by Jesse and Anita Wagner from Stony Acres Stable in Muncy. “It takes about a half hour to adorn each horse,” said Anita Wagner, “that is to braid and harness them.”

Using horse drawn plows at Sones Farm and Home Museum in Muncy, these full size spotted black and white draft horses demonstrated how they cultivated the land before the use of tractors.

The farm museum will remain open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 to 5 and 11 to 5 on Sundays until the end of October. They are closed on holidays.