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Presque Isle: The Star City

Harvesting Potatoes

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ONTO THE TRUCK

Sweetser Farm, Presque Isle, ca. 1900
Sweetser Farm, Presque Isle, ca. 1900

Item Contributed by
Presque Isle Historical Society

Around 1900, barrels were transported to and from the field with wagons that were built with a low platform, allowing the barrels to be more easily loaded and unloaded. This photograph of the Elwood Sweetser farm was taken around 1900. This photograph of a drop-axle wagon clearly demonstrates how the axles are over the body, allowing the body to be close to the ground. This type of wagon was called the drop-axle wagon, the jigger wagon, or the Tabor wagon. Tabor was named after John Tabor of Houlton who built the wagon in the late 1800s

Loading Barrels by Hand, Presque Isle, 1950
Loading Barrels by Hand, Presque Isle, 1950

Item Contributed by
Presque Isle Historical Society

This low body profile carried over to the introduction of trucks. Early potato-barrel truck bodies had a unique style with a box over the wheels to give clearance and with stakes around the outside that allowed a rope or a chain to hold the barrels.

Even as late as 1950 some farmers loaded barrels by hand. This picture on the right was taken on the Laurence Park farm in 1950. It shows two men loading barrels and one man setting the barrels in place on the truck body