When HOUSES were moved by HORSES!






Hubby sent this article for all of us to enjoy!

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These incredible vintage photos certainly put a new twist on the concept of mobile home living.

Images from the 19th and early 20th centuries in America reveal teams of horses being used to move entire houses to new locations. It was a common practice across the country at the time. Many homes were constructed and then sold for prices from $40 for a one-storey house to $72 to $85 (the latter equivalent to around $2,500 in today’s money) for a two-storey house.

The timber frame structures were loaded on to wheeled wooden platforms and the horses used to drag the whole load into the desired position.

Images from the 19th and early 20th centuries reveal teams of horses being used to move entire houses to new locations. Above, settlers move a house with the help of horses during the late 1800s. Many homes were constructed and then sold for prices from $40 for a one-storey house to $72 to $85 for a two-storey house (the latter equivalent to around $2,500 in today's money)

Images from the 19th and early 20th centuries reveal teams of horses being used to move entire houses to new locations. Above, settlers move a house with the help of horses during the late 1800s. Many homes were constructed and then sold for prices from $40 for a one-storey house to $72 to $85 for a two-storey house (the latter equivalent to around $2,500 in today’s money)

The timber frame structures were loaded on to wooden platforms with wheels, before horses were used to drag the whole load into the desired position. Above, an entire family gets involved with a house move, with children watching on as the horses cart their heavy load

The timber frame structures were loaded on to wooden platforms with wheels, before horses were used to drag the whole load into the desired position. Above, an entire family gets involved with a house move, with children watching on as the horses cart their heavy load

One photograph shows six horses straining as they pull a two-storey abode forwards, with a group of men steering them as they go.

Another image shows an entire family getting involved with the house move, with children watching on as the horses cart their heavy load.

It appears that the practice of moving houses by horse power proved tricky at times.

Indeed, one shot shows how a team of horses started trotting over a bridge but the house they were transporting was too wide.

American historian Jane Sweetland notes on her blog, Ancestory Ink, that people moved frequently in the 18th and 19th centuries in pursuit of ‘fertile farm land, rock quarries, whales, religious tolerance, fair weather’ and ‘sometimes after local catastrophes like a fire or hurricane’.

One shot, taken around 1915, shows how a team of horses started trotting over a bridge but the house they were transporting, was too wide

One shot, taken around 1915, shows how a team of horses started trotting over a bridge but the house they were transporting, was too wide

This picture is from a postcard dated to 1909. It shows an amazing wintertime house-moving operation possibly in America's Upper Midwest (the exact location is unknown), with 24 horses all harnessed together to provide the 'horsepower' to get the job done

This picture is from a postcard dated to 1909. It shows an amazing wintertime house-moving operation possibly in America’s Upper Midwest (the exact location is unknown), with 24 horses all harnessed together to provide the ‘horsepower’ to get the job done

Instead of moving into a new home, Sweetland notes that people would merely uproot the foundations of their abode and move it to a new spot.

She adds that this was a particularly impressive feat when ‘chimneys, fireplaces, plaster walls and moldings’ were thrown into the mix.

Over time, the horses were replaced by trucks, of course, and today the practice of using them to move houses is pretty much obsolete.

However, in some Amish communities where historical traditions are preserved, horses are still sometimes recruited to move houses.

In 2016, the oldest known Amish house in Illinois – dating to 1865 – was hiked a few hundred feet by horses. The rest of the move was carried out by trucks.

The two-level home, which covered around 960 square feet, weighed an estimated 45 tons.

Sweetland says along with horses, oxen, trains and sled dogs were also used to move structures before the rise of motor power.

Over time, the horses were replaced by trucks, of course, and today the practice of using them to move houses is pretty much obsolete

Over time, the horses were replaced by trucks, of course, and today the practice of using them to move houses is pretty much obsolete

An engraving dating from 1877 shows a horse being used to move a three-storey house in New York

An engraving dating from 1877 shows a horse being used to move a three-storey house in New York

MODERN DAY 8-UP AMISH HORSES PULL A HOUSE.

Here is a video from the above article that I found on You Tube.  THE HORSES START at approx 12:05, so fast forward.

Click to watch video of modern day Amish horses moving a house.  Fast forward to 12:05 to see the horses take over.



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Only one comment so far...

  1. JanWindsong

    Fascinating – and a wonderful reminder of the work our horses give for us.

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