Thursday, March 17, 2011

Erin Go Braugh!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I thought I'd show you my Irish Shillelagh.

I love it! 
It was given to me by my Mother's side of the family
the Collins. 
This dear old thing was approx 120 years old
when it was shown to me in the 1960's. 

What is a shillelagh some of you may ask?
The internet says...
Sticks have been used as weapons since fighting began, however the skilled use of hardwood clubs by the people of Shillelagh led to these clubs to be called Shillelagh's by Richard II in 1395. With the dispersion of these peoples through the ages the term Shillelagh spread throughout Ireland and the new world in reference to a weighted fighting stick.
When it became illegal for any Irish person to carry a weapon their Shillelagh's were often elongated to appear as a walking stick but were just as effictive  a weapon when the need arose. These irish who emigrated to America enjoyed the right there of all men to carry arms and Shillelagh's became very promenant in the faction fights in the turbulant years of the young United States. 

Because of the length of this one
it would have been a
fighting shillelagh.

Can you imagine being 
boinked on the head with that thing!

I'm afraid my poor old shillelagh
has been banged up in many moves
from Ireland to England to
Manitoba Canada
to British Columbia Canada 
and now down here
to Kansas.

If it could only talk
I bet it could tell us some
wonderful stories
of all it's travels.

These clubs and walking sticks are
still being made today even here 
in the United States.

This one was made in Ireland from a black thorn tree
but originally they were made from oak. 
The bark was left on for added toughness
and to keep them from splitting in the 
drying process they were
sometimes buried
in manure piles or smeared
 with butter and placed in the chimney
to cure. 

I hope mine was done
the latter way!

At least it doesn't stink ;)

While looking up information on
shillelaghs I see there is
a lot of conflicting ideas
on where they came from and what 
they were made from etc.

I really don't care.
All that matters to me
is that my loved ones 
cared enough for this old
piece of wood
to hand it down for over 150 years
and one day my 
children will enjoy it 
and pass it down to theirs.

Since these pictures were taken by
our chicken coop here
on the farm I figured
I would join up
with Amy at

I hope you'll hop on over and visit 
Amy and Richie
and all the other Farm Friends
taking part this week.


Maura :)


Linda said...

Good St.Patricks Day to you. We have a shellelahs just the same as that one, but not as worn. We brought ours back with us when we visited Ireland some 20 yrs ago.

Kritter Keeper at Farm Tails said...

oh how interesting maura! thanks for the history! i just aeriated (sp) my manure pile today. lol.... love your tiger kitty!

Country Gal said...

Happy St Patty'e to ya.I had one of those but it got lost in one of our moves I havent seen one for years. I got it from my cousin when in Ireland. Have a great day

Verde Farm said...

Maura, How cool is that? I’ve never heard of a shillelagh before. I learned something new for sure and how awesome that it has been passed down over the years and is still fully intact. What an awesome conversation piece and if you are ever in need of a weapon--you got it covered :)
Top “o” the evenin to ya (in my best Irish brogue)

Anonymous said...

What an amazing piece to have handed down! Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Leontien said...

Loved the cat doing tricks!
and thank you for the story!


Sherri said...

Maura, I hope you had a wonderful St. Patrick's Day! The shillelagh is wonderful!

Michaele said...

That's what I love about blogging. So many neat new things to learn - about old things even. Cute how the cat joined in the photos.

Ott, A. said...

I have heard of a shileigh before, but because it is a traveling trophey when Purdue plays Notre Dame in football each year. But I think it's awesome that you have one and so appropriate for St. Patty's Day.

GardenofDaisies said...

Maura, The British imposed so many ridiculous laws, to try to keep the Irish people down. So glad it's not that way now!
Sorry to hear about your step mother. Hugs to you.

Jennifer said...

Very Cool :)

Brenda Kula said...

I'd sure rather see those things in criminals' hands instead of semi automatics!

Scrappy Grams said...

Maura, Happy St. Pat's day to you! What a long history for your shillelagh, and tons of moves with just you. :)

Shirley said...

Hi Maura, I am catching up with my friends tonight. Happy St. Patrick's to you and I enjoyed reading your blog tonight. I hope you are having some pretty weather out there in Kansas. We had 79 degrees today. It was beautiful. I enjoy seeing pictures of the farm and still wish I could live in the country once more. Have a great day. Your Missouri Friend.

Dawna said...

Love your post and the music today :) Have a good one!!

Naturally Carol said...

Isn't it amazing how an old weapon can be so interesting? I think it would be the equivalent of how some people carry around baseball bats for the sole cause of murder and mayhem! I wonder if the baseball bat carriers of today will preserve them for their

Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Wow, that's pretty cool. Hope you had a Happy St. Patrick's day!

Vintage Gal said...

I absolutely love it and it is even more special because it came from your family ~ what a treasure ;-)

Rural Rambler said...

Very cool Maura! You have some wonderful family history and I see that Olly or is it Lizzy is checking it out!

texwisgirl said...

A very neat peace of family history you've got there! :)

Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

I've never heard of a shillelagh before. Neat story!

Pondside said...

That is some heirloom!

John Gray said...

I was a shillelagh
NEVER...EVER seen one before!!!!!!
ta chuck!!1

Beatnheart said...

an absolute wonderful post Maura. I new one for me and I enjoyed the Irish Jig in the meantime. When I was in the Isle of Man, I told a story about getting bonked on the head in the apple orchard right on the property. They all laught their heads off, in fact couldn’t stop laughing. Bonking means something different overthere.

Catherine said...

i did not know about the shillelagh, i would not like to be hit on the head with it!!!

thecrazysheeplady said...

Great shot with the cat!

Tonya said...

Very intersting Maura I have never heard of this before. Thank you for sharing and I will visit your friends blog. Blessings to you.

NanaNor's said...

Hi there, Just catching up trying to see where your Irish roots are. My parents had a shillelaugh, from my grandparents but there was not square on the bottom-which is interesting because all my grandparents came over from Ireland. Of course the men might have been big enough that they didn't need the extra block or maybe it was taken off...I'll have to check into it. Did you grow up hearing stories of plates dancing on the wall?
Thanks for sharing.


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