Saturday, July 2, 2011

2 July 1919: Two "Prancing" Mules for Athens

On this day in 1919, the Athens Banner included this bit of good news for the city:

Though mechanical street sweepers had been invented in 1911, the horse or mule-drawn sweepers were a more economical option in the South, where mules were still a primary part of the area's agricultural life.  Not only were mules part of everyday life in Athens, but the city's first street cars in 1885 had been pulled by mules.

Mules continue to be popular today. The Georgia Old Time Plow Club is a non-profit organization that exhibits mules, horses, and oxen pulling loaded wagons, plowing fields, and even baling hay to show how farm work used to be accomplished in Georgia. Their animals are often featured at area Mule Days: the third Saturday each May at Shields-Ethridge Heritage Farm in Jefferson, Georgia; and the second Saturday each October at Callaway Plantation in Washington, Georgia.

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