There's a really wonderful old book (set of books?) published in 1883 which pretty much walked you through how to do EVERYTHING on the farm, and why. Most immigrant farmers would have benefited from these books if they could have slogged thru the verbiage, and also realized that the 'farm' he speaks of was NOT in Central Minnesota...lol
For instance, dad mentioned maintaining roads in the Buckman area with the team. Reading "Rural Roads and Bridges" starting on page 838, I'd be really surprised if that much care was taken to "do it right the first time". In fact, I imagine that roads were mostly wagon tracks that eventually got dragged smooth by the nearest farmer who couldn't stand the low spots any longer...
|....that never existed in rural Minnesota!|
There were mentions of corduroy roads and contracts to haul rocks for road repair in the Buckman News column of the Little Falls Herald. (I asked my 91 year old "consultant" what that was all about and he said the rocks acted like a culvert, letting water flow thru under a road). None of that was according to The American Farm and Home Cyclopedia. ☺
Once you've clicked the link to the book, scroll back and forth. There's info on all kinds of things you've wondered about, and a lot you didn't think to wonder about!