What do Eddie Van Halen and Bob Dylan have to do with Colonial Williamsburg? That’s how you’ll remember the names of the newest members of the oxen family—Eddie and Dylan.
The boys joined Colonial Williamsburg in March thanks to a very generous donor couple. I spoke a bit about this in my blog featuring our new Senior Ox Driver Cameron Green, but it still rings true—we really do rely on donors like you all to help us preserve history. Your contributions do not go without heartfelt thanks. For more information on how you can help, click here.
Eddie and Dylan are four-year-old American Milking Devons, which means they officially became oxen on their fourth birthday just this year. As they were undergoing training, they were called “working steers.” (To learn more about that process, click here.) What sets them apart from Pat and Mike are their personalities. Cameron told me they are “a bit more spirited and want to get to job done much faster.” If you’ve met Pat and Mike out and about in the Historic Area, you’ve probably noticed their slow and steady pace. Eddie and Dylan are a bit different.
One thing I love about cattle is how smart they are. Eddie and Dylan are no exceptions. The boys are very smart, which Cameron says can be challenging at times. “They know how to test their driver.” They also love to work and apparently get bored when they are not doing a task. “My favorite thing about Eddie and Dylan is that they are quick and have a desire to do challenging tasks,” he added. Sounds like my kind of guys!
They will primarily be working with the new ox cart rides around Palace Green, which are slated to begin in June. The rides will be about 15 minutes in a wagon made by our wheelwrights, and they do require a ticket and children must be accompanied by an adult—stay tuned for more on that. Eddie and Dylan will also haul carts and wagons full of goods around town as well as plow and harrow, so be sure to say hello if you see them.
Cameron says the boys get along great with Pat and Mike, and I can attest to that. I saw the four of them together in a pasture and they were having a great time! “They all share a pasture and when one team leaves to do work, they holler out to the other team as they leave,” Cameron said. “This is due to their herd mentality.” They haven’t met Duke and Dan yet, but I’m sure they’ll all be great friends.
Join me in welcoming Eddie and Dylan with a resounding huzzah!