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Oxen were once commonplace on the local streets

Posted 22 November 2013 at 12:00 am

By Bill Lattin, Orleans County Historian

This image is from a tintype photograph, probably taken in the mid-1850s.

Here we see a man with a team of oxen hitched together with a neck yoke. It is possible the building in the background is a tavern.

At the time of this picture oxen were as common as horses. Notice the man’s attire, including hit hat and especially his boots.

These kind of boots when muddy demanded a boot scraper, which were frequently found by the entrance doors to dwellings in the mid-19th Century before roads were paved.

There are very few boot scrapers left. The photo below shows one behind the DAR (Daughters of American Revolution) House on North Main Street in Albion. The boot scraper is located next to the back door.