Farming Changes at Colintraive in the 1940’s
By the late 1940’s in Colintraive about twenty people were employed full time in agriculture and at least another dozen workers were part-time. They came over from Ireland to work over the summer cutting bracken and harvesting. The farms practised mixed farming keeping dairy and beef cattle and hill sheep with crops, including hay, turnips, oats, and growing corn for winter feed. Potatoes and milk were also produced, but these were mainly for local consumption.
Horses ploughed the land until the 1940’s, when tractors were introduced . Within ten years the tractors had replaced most of the horses.
Times change. Much larger and more efficient agricultural machinery was introduced, and hay silage has replaced all other crops. In common with many other parts of Scotland, farms have amalgamated.
There are now just two working farms remaining. These are Ardentraive, which includes Milton, Fearnoch and the Altgaltraigs, and South Hall which incorporates the old farms of Glaic, Newton and Couston
The farm buildings and shepherd’s cottages on Loch Striven, at Trouston, Corrie and Ardbeg are now abandoned.
The farmhouses at Upper and Lower Altgaltraig, Couston, Fearnoch and Port an Eilein became private homes, and the outbuildings and sheds were demolished or converted to other uses. The farm at Glaic was severely damaged by shell fire prior to the D Day landings in Normandy. It was demolished following the war and today only the byre ruin remains.