by Jon Radojkovic
The reason I wanted to define “Summer Beam” was that I was reading one of Eric Sloan’s books, called “Diary of an Early American Boy, Noah Blake 1805, published in 1962 by Wilfred Funk Inc, NY. USA.
Sloan explained that the word summer didn’t have anything to do with that season, but rather originated from the old word “sumpter”, which meant a burden or a horse burdened with carrying a heavy load.
In barn terms, a Summer Beam is a heavy horizontal timber in the stables holding up the sleepers (joists) and the floor boards where the threshing floor and mow are.