The outer territories of Hajdúböszörmény

Hajdúböszörmény is one of the most typical garden towns. The regular street network of interior house sites are surrounded by garden areas functioning as farming courtyards over these territories there were interior pastures for the animals going home daily. Further off we can find the allodial estates (plough-lands, hayfields), then the spacious exterior pasture fields, the former “puszta” (wastelands), territories used for extensive animal husbandry. These spacious outer territories were attached to the town partly from the allodial estates gained by right of the Haiduk (the territory of the medieval Böszörmény and the granted puszta-territory of Pród) and partly from the so called “mortgaged” puszta lands (Vid, Zelemér, Szentgyörgy). Until 1778 the outer territories were cultivated in communal system. Between 1778 and 1783 rights to the lands connected to the house sites were surveyed and distributed ultimately, forests and pastures were separated that remained in common property. From the middle of the 19th century lands connected to the house sites became private property, term used in its actual sense. That time the outer territories were cultivated according to a forced fallowing system. The first consolidation took place between 1881 and 1889 which made possible the creation of homestead farms, the frameworks of modern farming of smallholders. A considerable part of the common lands were distributed to the smallholders, however, similarly to other Haiduk Towns, pastures of the puszta and common forests remained intact up until the middle of the 20th century

Homestead system

In the 18th century and in the first part of the 19th century homesteads functioned as stables for the livestock, formed mostly at the edge of the fields. Later on they appeared in larger number at the borders of pastures and hayfields, this period is also characterized by the appearance of farming around the homesteads. A decisive turning-point in the history of homesteads was the consolidation, after which several types of homesteads emerged depending on their size and location. In the beginning house sites in the town and the outer territories had strong links: only those could possess homesteads who owned a house on a site in the town. Later, at the time of the spreading of homesteads, homestead as such became partly or completely separated from the house sites of the town

Peasant animal husbandry

In the town during the 19th century, parallel to the spread of the fodder crops there were alterations in the structure of husbandry as well, stabling began to gain ground beside the extensive animal husbandry connected to pastures of the puszta. The stockholders bred animals not only for the profit from the progeny but with the intention to provide yoke-power, milk, and store animals. Otherwise, the peculiarity of the peasant animal husbandry of Hajdúböszörmény is the fact that it preserved several traditional features coming from the extensive stock-raising up until the second part of the 19th century. For a long time the extensive and intensive forms of stock breeding existed side by side within the same farms. In the showcase apart from the everyday tools used in animal husbandry we can see a fragment of an ornamented, braided horse trapping.

The bells of Böszörmény

Among the stock raising people and herdsmen of the Trans-Tisza region the so called “bells of Böszörmény” fabricated in bell casting workshops were greatly appreciated. The oldest known bell provided with a date is from 1816, the last craftsman of Hajdúböszörmény, Imre Tisza Nagy worked until the 1940s. During this nearly one and a half century the bells of Böszörmény preserved their shape and proportions similar to that of church bells, as well as the basic motif of pomegranate ornamentation with refined delineation. Herdsmen of the region applied an attuned set of bells for the guarded flocks, with regards for the farmers, they hung bells of Böszörmény on the ornamented harnesses.


As for agriculture, farming took over in the second half of the 19th century. That time, also in Hajdúböszörmény, two thirds of the lands brought into cultivation were sown with corns. In the first part of the 19th century cropping with sickle was still present, though later it was completely displaced by reaping with scythe, a process called “takarás”. Scythes supplied with “csapófa” (wooden accessory), the whetstone, the hammer, these indispensable tools of cropping were present in every peasant farm of Hajdúböszörmény until the middle of the 20th century. Until the appearance of the trashing machine the dominating procedure of gaining grains was treading them out. Crops were not carried into the town for fire protection considerations, they were stored in so called “lagers” arranged into “osztag”s (blocks), that was the place of trashing as well.


The cultivated outer territories provided the local bee-keepers with an excellent bee pasture, the apiaries were set up in the vineyards, homestead yards. Till the turn of the 19th-20th century bees were kept in a traditional way, adopting rational and superstitious procedures, beehives and apiaries of half drip-moulding were set up. The material of the hives was plastered wickers and straw. An interesting piece of the exhibition is a beehive of straw forming a human figure. Apiary of small hives became general in the 1900s. A bee-keeper association was formed in 1912, it contributed to the propagation of modern apiarian knowledge and procedures. Between the two world wars the bee-keepers of Hajdúböszörmény made considerable achievements in migratory apiary of large hives.


Viticulture is a frequent complementary branch in the peasant farms of Hajdúság. Its history in Hajdúböszörmény goes back to the 18thcentury. Vineyards were set up on sandy lands unsuitable for cultivation in the inner pastures. Following the phylloxera epidemic in the end of the 19th century at the time of the prospering of viticulture on the sand-dunes more and more vineyards were being planted. Parallel with it a number of dwelling houses were built in the vineyards, however permanently living in the outer areas were forbidden by regulations of the town council up until the beginning of the 20th century. Vineyards were judged according to different administrative practices than other territories, at the beginning the so called “kertbirtokosság” dealt with their cases, later from the end of the 19thcentury it was carried out on the basis of nationally unified principles by the wine regions, bodies, made up of vineyard holders and bestowed with self-governing rights. The developed state of viticulture is proved by the variety of shapes of the vine pruning knifes and scissors.