Cornfields in the 1880s were laid out much differently than those seen today. To recreate a cornfield during the time period it is laid out in check rows. The field is prepared and then marked using a marking sled. Afterwards, the farmer moves across the field perpendicular to his markings with an original corn planter. A knotted wire is stretched across the field which when tripped causes a kernel of corn to fall into place in the dirt. Rather than being planted in long straight rows, the field is actually laid out more like a checkerboard. The idea behind this is that the field could then be cultivated in all directions, including diagonally.
The sun shines on the plow as its share slices through the dark soil. The farmers hands tighten on the handles as the strong horse lurches forward starting another furrow. After finishing the row the farmer stops and wipes his brow on his shirt sleeve and fans himself with his straw hat. As he stops to rest for a minute or two, the farmer looks up at several smiling faces of young school children who have come to watch him. Is this a scene from the 1880s? Yes, but it is also a scene from the year 2003. The place is Carriage Hill MetroPark Farm, an 1880s recreated living history site in Dayton, Ohio.