Clay Tile

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wadegriffis
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Joined: Mon May 21, 2012 1:58 pm

Clay Tile

Postby wadegriffis » Sat Dec 27, 2014 1:13 pm

Have just read the latest ACY News . Brought back a lot of memories . My uncle owned the farm my dad used. The farm is near Haviland ,Ohio. This area in Northwest Ohio was just on the edge of the "Great Black Swamp" . The ground water level here is ( or was ) just feet below. This caused the farms in the area to by flooded by even only a moderately heavy rainfall. To keep the farmland in decently dry condition , clay drainage tile was buried several feet below the surface. The farmer would have tile strings laid every couple of rods apart . The tile strings would conduct the excess water to a large surface ditch.
Haviland had a large clay tile manufacturing plant. If you have ever been to Paulding country , you know that the nice surface farm dirt is really not that deep.
Below the thin layer is a tremendous layer of clay. The Haviland works had three huge "barrow" pits that they dug clay from. As the article states , clay tile was eventually was replaced by huge rolls of corrugated plastic pipe.
Anyway , I remember helping "ditch" several fields near our home. The process involved a rather large ditching machine that would dig a 3/4 foot deep trench in the field. A worker would lay 6 inch drain tile in the trench right behind the machine. He would knock a small amount of dirt back onto the tile. My task was to then using rake , cover the tile to a depth of 6/7 inches , and gently tamp the dirt down . This was a really neat job for an 8 or 9 year old kid. I didn't weigh enough to break any tile , and the tile handler didn't have to do that task as well as own.

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