April 10, 2023
The sign hanging in the gathering area in Troy Furrer’s farm shop near Wolcott, Ind., says it all. He farms with his son, Josh, and dad, Don. The sign reads: “Every family has a story … welcome to ours.”
Not only did the Furrers design their farm shop to feel welcoming — with a gathering area, kitchen and upstairs conference room — but they also included displays to make it feel “homey.” Why? Because they display things important to their family over time.
“Dad wanted an area to display a lot of primitive farm tools and antiques he collects, so we built what looks like a barn just over the workbench at the front of the shop,” Troy explains. Because the shop has 20-foot sidewalls and a second story over the gathering area, there was room to build the replica of one end of a small barn or shed with a peaked roof. Lumber for the barn wall came from old buildings on the farm, Troy says.
“We’ve got a bit of everything up there,” Don says. “Not everyone can identify everything. Some of those things go way back.”
Here are a couple of “forgotten tool” brain teasers:
From the home. In the first photo of the slideshow, look at the long, slender device near the edge of the wall on the right.
As it turns out, that’s an early ancestor of something everyone has at home. In fact, some may have a robotic version that cleans floors on its own. Yes, the slender item is a vacuum cleaner. Not only was it not robotic, but the operator supplied power to create vacuum.
From the toolshed. Take a close look at the device with a wooden handle in the middle of the wall. “It’s a skeleton spade,” Don says. “They used it on tight, heavy clay soils around here when laying tile. There was a lot less area for mud to cake up on and become heavy as you dug down a trench for tile.”
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