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Giant twins (Gortner) page 10

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to the threshing floor. Here the grain was separated from the straw by a man with a fork which let the grain pass through it, and then the straw was pitched aside in a heap. The grain was put into a hand-powered mill where the residue of the chaff was blown out by blasts of air. The clean grain dropped onto the threshing floor. It was scooped up in sacks and carried into the granary bin where it was stored for winter use. The straw was pitched into the mow by hand. It was used as food and bedding for the stock during the long and often bitter-cold winter months. The blizzard of 1861 was especially severe. Before the Pitts machine came into use Grandfather used the flail. This was the earliest type of threshing instrument and goes back to Biblical times.

The following history of Grandfather Gortner was written by Captain Charles E. Hoye and published in The Mountain Democrat April 18, 1935:

"The Gortners arrived in New York August 1, 1848. They went to Somerset County, Pennsylvania where they had relatives and friends. There they resided four months before going to Garrett County, Maryland.

"In 1848 Peter Gortner bought of G. H. A. Kunst the Nicholas Gauer (Gower) tract of two hundred acres (four Military Lots) for which he paid $700.00. Three hundred dollars was paid down and the remainder was paid during the next four years.

"Mr. Gortner was an industrious and prosperous farmer and stockman. He settled just a few miles south of the Baltimore and Ohio Rail-


Rev. J. C. Breuninger

Peter Gortner, the pioneer, sitting on porch of his house in 1893.


Collection Location:
Ruth Enlow Library, Oakland

Original Size:
22 x 15 cms

Editor: Felix G. Robinson

Maryland, History

Western Maryland, 1750-1963

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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