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Folklore, Fable and Fortune

Old Irish folklore tells of a 10th century blacksmith, Saint Dunstan, who was visited by the devil requesting a horseshoe for himself. Dunstan used iron nails to secure a red hot horseshoe onto one of the devil’s hooves. The devil howled in pain and begged Dunstan to remove the hot shoe. Dunstan agreed with one condition — the devil must respect the horseshoe and never enter a building where one is hung above the door. Because of this, people believed the horseshoe would keep evil spirits and bad luck out of their homes, and bring in good fortune.

The tradition carried on, and in the middle ages, when the fear of witches was rampant, it was believed witches were afraid of horses and their iron shoes and would never pass through a doorway with one hung above it. People even nailed horseshoes to witch's coffins to keep them from coming out.

Today, hanging a horseshoe facing upwards in a "U" shape is said to keep evil out and bring good luck into your home. (paraphrased from

Sunday, we had taken friends on a quick tour of our property. As we were driving back towards the house, something caught Matt’s eye. He stopped suddenly and backed up to find an old horseshoe. I’m not a historian or metallurgist but it definitely looks to be an antique. You see, the research I have done on our land dates back to Osage Nation, pre-landrun times as the Lombard Settlement. According to my research; in 1786, a French explorer, Joseph Lambert took Osage Chief Claremore’s daughter, Me-Sar-Nee, as his wife and claimed a settlement on Bird Creek, including our land. Lambert left his Osage settlement and continued his exploration to the Pacific Northwest. Over his travels and upon his return to Osage Nation, the name Lambert evolved to Lombard, thus “Lombard Settlement”. We actually have the Lombard Cemetery on our land but that’s for another post.

All this to say, whether the horseshoe is from 1786 or 1986, it is now hanging above our barn door and we are open to good luck and the prohibition of evil spirits & witchcraft. I think I’ll go buy a lottery ticket today. 😉

#homesteading #homestead #homesteadinglife #homesteader #homesteaders #farmstead #hobbyfarm #hobbyfarming #hobbyfarmer #countrylife #familyfarm #modernfarmer #farmliving #countrylivingmag #genealogy

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