PIQUA — A pair of new faces will join the John Johnston Farm & Indian Agency team this summer.
Brothers John and Jim, a pair of mules, were acquired by site manager Andy Hite this past weekend. The mule team will be responsible for pulling the agency’s General Harrison canal boat along the one-mile restored section of the Miami and Erie Canal, taking visitors back to an earlier time in Ohio.
The mules were purchased from a farm outside Murray, Ky. Hite said that he contacted the farm owner and told him what he was looking to find. The farmer called Hite and said, “I’ve got a pair for you to look at.”
When searching for mules to work at the Johnston Farm, “We were looking for some size,” said Hite, “and the fact that these guys (John and Jim) had (already) worked together as a team.”
The mules demonstrated their pulling prowess and calm nature for Hite as he was taken on a wagon ride with his prospective workers hitched as a team to the front of the wagon. “We met a car, they never flinched,” said Hite,”We met a semi, never flinched.”
Calmness and maturity are necessary traits for mules that will be working around people at the Johnston Farm. Their age — John is nine and Jim is eight — means that they have reached an age where they are more settled.
John and Jim will assume their boat-pulling duties sometime in June, giving them time to become acclimated to their new home and duties.
The John Johnston Farm & Indian Agency will open for the season on June 1.
Reach Mike Ullery at (937) 451-3335