Sheep shear of Clayton J. Stanford

Today the museum received a long-term loan from the Peninsula Historic Society. They had simply run out of space for all the tools they had, so they asked if our farm museum could house and display the sheep shear once used by Clayton J. Stanford of the Peninsula Stanfords. P.H.S. had, a number of years ago, originally received the machine from the Emmett’s of Richfield. Dan Emmett (now long passed) had raised sheep for years on their farm in eastern Richfield, on the ridge overlooking Penninsula.
.
In the 1800’s our area was famous for raising sheep. We had great soil, pastures & water, an ideal climate, and ready ways (with the Ohio-Erie Canal and later the railroad) to ship the very important wool back East and even on to Europe. Some of the most important families of Richfield and Peninsula kept sheep, including the Oviatt’s and Farnum’s (with their multi-thousand head flocks) of Richfield, and later the well known and important Stanford’s of Peninsula. They were all founding families of their new born towns in the Western Reserve. By the 1840’s, sheep were so popular in the area that one of the world’s foremost authorities on sheep, John Brown (The Great Abolitionist) moved to the area.
.
Here at this farm and museum, we have long been interested in sheep raising, ever since we learned the trade from the then aging Carter Wilmot some 60+ years ago (he may well have learned the trade from locals who knew John Brown). Every year for decades we have raised and sheared sheep, with a consequence that when we established the museum we naturally began collecting sheep equipment and tools. In our collection, the museum has early hand shears, wool tying boxes, hand-cranked flexible shaft shears, a hand crank carding machine and several sets of hand cards, and hoof trimmers. But we did not have the earlier articulated straight shaft shear machine. So, now that we finally do, it is time to set up another museum display. ~Which is pretty good timing. We have a number of fleeces of grease wool (a fleece as shorn before any processing). And just this past week we cleaned and washed some wool. All are now on display.
.

Comments are closed.