When I came across this contraption at the O’Bannon State Park in southern Indiana I had no idea what it was about. But a couple hours later there was a full-blown demonstration with oxen and all . It is a hay press from the 1800’s. Back then they didn’t have hay balers as we have today so basically this screw machine pressed the hay into tighter bundles so more could be put in the barn.
Like so much around today the rural mills are fast becoming a thing of the past. I guess at the corporate farm level they take their grain directly to their corporate supplies. I found this mill about 40 miles east of Amarillo Texas this spring.
One of my long time hobbies is to take pictures of barns, that is the old wooden barns of the past. This is a prime example of an elegant one in the Midwest.