Macedon Historical Society

Preserving the history of Macedon, N.Y.

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CATTAIL HARVESTING IN MACEDON

Two types of cattail leaves are harvested in Wayne County. One type known as 'Cooper's Flag' is used in the manufacturing of wooden barrels. The other type is 'Rush' and it is used for caning chairs. Rush was harvested on the south side of Macedon for many years by Ward Russell. His son, Stephen, still harvests flag and rush in the Savannah and Sodus areas. He processes and ships world-wide from his family farm.

Click images to enlarge.


A chair with a seat made from rush.



Rush is cut by hand and bundled in a swamp and then transported to the farm.



The bundles are laid out in the sun to start drying.



Stephen Russell is inspecting the rush prior to moving it into the barn.



The bundles are stored in the barn for final drying and preparation for shipping.