This Year's Project:
About Our Organization
Friends of Homestead National Monument of America supports Homestead National Monument -- a National Park Service site -- through fundraising and advocacy. The Friends of Homestead works closely with the Monument to provide funds for Park projects and programs, and most recently worked with donors to restore an original painting from the Washington DC capitol "The First Homesteader". This painting is now on permanent display at the Heritage Center. Funding from the Friends allows all activities at the Monument site to be free to all visitors, including the many schoolchildren who visit the Monument annually.
Most people when talking about a Jayhawk would be talking about a bird, maybe a plane, or even the Kansas University Jayhawks but in 1915 the word Jayhawk meant a hay stacker able to move a 600 lb load of hay around a field.
The Jayhawk, patented in 1915 by the F. Wyatt Mfg. Co., measured 12 feet wide, 30 feet long and 12 feet high and used to left 600 lb. loads of hay into barns or to create stacks of hay in the fields similar to todays 1 ton round bales. The Jayhawk could accommodate a team of four horses to push and pull it through the fields. The Jayhawk dates to an era when cut hay was mostly left in the fields like loaves of hay throughout the fields. Farmers kept moving around in the field creating these loaves of hay.
A windstorm last spring did considerable amount damage to the Jayhawk hay stacker. Many of the parts were damaged beyond repair and are not available to be purchased. Therefore, all damaged parts need to be custom fabricated The Friends of Homestead National Monument of America has taken on this challenge. The Jayhawk is an important part of the heritage of the early days of farming in the state of Nebraska and throughout the Midwest. Our hope is to restore the Jayhawk back to its original condition when the park received the Jayhawk donation. The cost of this restoration is estimated at $1,500.00.
Below is a picture of an original hay stacker from Wyatt Mfg Co as well as the damaged hay stacker at HNMof America.