Salt Marsh Haying on the Palmer River

We’ve been working on the trails at the new Haile Farm property, and have been struck by the beauty of the views across the salt marshes along the Palmer River. We were talking this weekend about how the history of these beautiful marshes includes their use as sources for the cutting of salt marsh hay. The 1888 book Our Week Afloat by Wallace P. Stanley is the story of two young boys exploring the Palmer River by boat, and it includes this illustration by Henry N. Cady that shows salt marsh hay being loaded on a scow at the edge of the marsh for delivery downriver. 

Here is a link to an interesting description of how salt marsh hay was harvested, stored and hauled in Ipswich, Mass which gives a good feel for what took place at Haile Farm and the other farms along the Palmer, Barrington and Warren Rivers.

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