Contributed photo

Looking Back 6/14

As warm weather finally returns and schools finish the academic year for summer vacation, the time for making hay has begun. This photo shows hay piled high on the back of a truck in Livingston Manor, NY in the early 1900s.

A necessary practice for local farmers to feed animals in the winter, haymaking is rich with tradition. The process depends heavily on sunny, warm weather, and can therefore only be done in the summertime. In the past, when younger children were let out of school for the year, they were tasked with bringing refreshments to their older siblings and men as they worked in the hot fields.

Today, the technology involved in making hay has vastly improved. Today, there are more scientific methods of predicting weather conditions than looking up in the sky. Sickle bars and scythes have long been replaced by haybines. Hay can now be made more efficiently than ever, but the annual tradition lives on.

As the sun comes out, farmers will be hard at work making hay and bales will dot fields across the area.

The Basket Historical Society preserves and presents the history of the Upper Delaware area. If you are interested in becoming a member or finding out more contact us at


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