Whiffletrees (aka Whippletrees) from the Farm of Tom Shea
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- The Shea family story is that Irish immigrant Thomas Shea met a man named Joe Brown on the boat over. Joe recommended that Thomas go to the Tobin farm in Trafalgar Township as they "would put him up". Thomas did, he met Bridget (nee Moran) and Patrick's granddaughter, Frances. Thomas Shea and Frances Tobin were married April 28, 1862 in St. Andrew's Church, Oakville. They took over the farm.
This farm was on Lot 7 Concession 2 NDS Trafalgar Township. In modern terms, this is located just west of where the intersection of 8th Line and Burnhamthorpe Road East would be if the Eighth Line came up to Burnhamthorpe, in Oakville. The area was Snider's Corners which was centered on the church on the north-west corner of 9th Line and Burnhamthorpe Road. The church was on the south-east corner of Lot 6 and the Shea farm, Lot 7, was immediately west. Although developers bought the land in the 1960's and tore down the farmhouse, today trees and shrub growth mark the old house location on a small creek.
The land was previously the farm of Patrick Tobin who had emigrated from Kilkenny, Ireland. Patrick and Bridget landed first in New Brunswick where a son was born, and then on to Trafalgar Township. Patrick died on April 23, 1873, Bridget died earlier at age 75.
Whippletrees are called also wiffle trees or doubletrees, equalizer or leader bar. The centre of the bar is connected to a load, traces attach to its ends. Chains or straps were used for the traces. On a farm, the load might be a plough, a harrow or scuffler, or cultivator, a log, perhaps. Son of Tom and Frances was Thomas Vincent Shea, also called Tom, born in 1876 and died in 1965, used these whippletrees with his draught horse team.
- The whippletrees were photographed on the floor of the old one-room schoolhouse in Palermo, Oakville.
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- Son of immigrant Thomas Shea was Thomas Vincent Shea - Born Apr 12, 1876, died Feb 4, 1965 - married Mary Cecilia Colgan, raised two children - Mary Helena and Thomas Joseph
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- Trafalgar Township Historical Society
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- Whiffletrees (aka Whippletrees) from the Farm of Tom Shea
Trafalgar Township Historical Society
Trafalgar Township Historical Society Sponsor: Jeff Knoll, Local & Regional Councillor for Oakville Ward 5 – Town of Oakville/Regional Municipality of Halton