Farming has been a part of Botetourt’s history since the first colonist settled the rich land. Although oxen are not commonly used today they were important for farming because of their strength and gentle nature. This wooden yoke was made circa1815 and was used for breaking in young oxen. A yoke is a wooden beam used around the neck of a pair of oxen to teach them to pull together. Grown oxen are powerful animals and as a team can pull 12,000-13,000 pounds. (A team of horses can pull 22,000-32,000 pounds.)
It was donated to the Botetourt History Museum by Fulton T. Waid (1898-1973),who went by “Pullie.” He was married to Helen Houseman (1898-1970) and they had three children, Dreama, Billie (Sis), and Robert (Bobby). Helen’s parents owned and operated the Housman store, which was where the voting registrar’s office is now. Pullie was a traveling salesman, a WWI Marine and a farmer. They lived at “The Farmhouse,” which is at the corner of Oak Ridge Road and the Blue Ridge Turnpike. After moving to the corner of Carper and Monroe Street in Fincastle, they moved to 25 East Main Street. It was the first house in Fincastle to get a house number and is now across from the museum. Pullie was the mayor of Fincastle and an important figure in shaping the history of the area. See https://bothistsoc.Wordpress.com.