Baca County History

by the Plainsman Herald

Tag: Broomcorn

  • Baca County Festivals and Fairs: Part 1

    I will probably work at adding to this in pieces, maybe in the form of a timeline, but I thought it would be fun to start looking at various festivals and fairs held in Southeast Colorado/ Southwest Kansas/ Baca County through the years.  Sam Konkel mentions an 1888 fair in Boston, Springfield, and Minneapolis, but there isn’t […]

  • German POWs in Baca County: “Many Thanks to Mr. Schroeder from his Broomcorn Crew”

    Conversations on our Baca County Facebook groups about German POWs led me to look a little deeper into that topic. I will aggregate some of those conversations here and add a bit more. A report from Metro State University in Denver tells us that during World War II, a series of Prisoner of War (POW) […]

  • The Challenge of the Broomcorn Harvesting Machine

    “No machine has yet been invented to successfully replace the hand labor.  The men, using broomcorn knives with sharp five-inch knives, move down rows in a field, bending the heads or brush with one hand and cutting the stalk about six inches below the bottom part of the brush with the other hand. “ -Pueblo […]

  • The Rise and Fall of the U.S. Broom Industry

    Rise and Fall of the US Broom Industry is an overview of the broom & broomcorn industries in the U.S.  The foundation for  this post was provided to me by Sam Moyer Ph.D.  He gleaned much of this from BROOM, BRUSH & MOP, (especially Tim Monahan’s 1986 review) Sam Moyer, Ph.D.  My updates specifically focus […]

  • Did Ben Franklin Really Have a Key Role in Bringing Broomcorn to America?

    In the talks I have given about broomcorn I have always mentioned that Benjamin Franklin is often credited with bringing broomcorn to America in the 1700s. This concept is usually presented as fact, but it turns out  that whether this is true or not is actually up for debate.  I introduced you to some of […]

  • Broomcorn Research Progress 2007: by Dr. Sam Moyer

    Reposted with Permission by Dr. Sam Moyer. Although there hasn’t been broomcorn production in Baca County for many years, there actually has been quite a bit of research done  in the not so recent past.  My newest broomcorn acquaintance is Dr. Sam Moyer,  a geneticist and a broom maker from New Jersey.   Dr. Moyer has […]

  • I would rather be in a Tulsa Jail than cutting broomcorn…

    We know that harvesting broomcorn was a hard itchy process but  at my “Broomcorn Capital” presentation 2 years ago Shorty Miller may have driven the point home when he told us that one broomcorn Johnnie told him, I would rather be in a Tulsa Jail than cutting broomcorn.   I haven’t posted much broomcorn info lately […]

  • So Where is the Broomcorn Capital of the World?

    What is Broomcorn? I have had several conversations about recording local history as we are doing with  Anytime the topic of broomcorn has come up with someone not from Baca County there is inevitably the question “What’s that?”  Therefore, if any of you reading this are not from Baca County or one of the […]

  • Tools of the Lost Trade: The Broomcorn Knife

    The knives were razor sharp and they wrapped their thumbs with the old style electrician’s tape (friction tape). Each night they would set around and sharpen their knives. -Ted Burhenn NOTE: This was originally posted in 2014.  This update changes the name to”Tools of the Lost Trade”, referencing the long gone broomcorn industry.  This update […]

  • When the Humble Broom built Broomcorn Empires

    It has been reported that  99% of all American households have at least one broom, and that a broom is vital to everyday living. -Los Angeles Times 1988 Source: (Library of Congress) Think people don’t have strong feelings about the humble broom?   A recent review at of an old fashioned broomcorn broom says, I […]