Sunday, September 23, 2012

Power of the Past

Outside of Baker City, Oregon was an unexpected sight.  It is not listed on any travel brochures nor found on the internet.  It was purely a drive by that beckoned me back for a closer look.  Yet it pulled at my historical heart strings in a way that many 'tourist attractions' never could. Right there on the side of the road in a farmers field, I found .....

                 The place where old ranch and farm equipment go to die.

The hay stacker lifted the bales against  the stack brace to store for winter when a barn was  not available. 

Farmers and ranchers depended on horses and oxen to do the farming and ranching chores.  Without hay through the winter months the animals would die.  The interdependence between the farmers, ranchers and animals they kept, was undeniable.

Off in the distance the Chuch wagons were needed for feeding cowboys when moving the cattle.

The work was hard, the tribulations great, and the early pioneers were weary at the days end.  The Elixir wagon made regular rounds through local towns to sell the 'medicines' of the day.  (Click on the picture to enlarge it for better viewing)

KickAPoo Juice Wagon

Seeders, cultivators, thrashers, combines, and harvesters,  they were all first horse or oxen drawn and eventually powered by steam engines.

To my surprise there in the middle of equipment graveyard was a living tribute to the backbone of the past, the horses and oxen who came before him.

Sorry buddy - No carrots today!
The machinery graveyard's humble caretakers cottage....

The JunkIt or FixIt Ranch

You can see them working in the fields.... you can here the cattle can feel the history in the air.   

     In the place that old ranch and farm equipment went to die.


  1. Now this is amazing. Not just that you found it but that you knew what all these things had done in their former productive lives. I'm impressed!

  2. That part was easy... First remember that I am a born and raised Out West and second Auntie was on this trip with me and grew up on a farm. She filled me in on stories where she had sat in Grampa's lap as he drove many of the machines. Maybe that explains the fondness I have as I visit these Old West places... It is like visiting with my grandparents and great-grandparents in their time and I miss them a little less.

  3. GREAT post. This is real stuff! Love the historical context in which you placed the pictures. Your narration was just right.