Helston, Manitoba, Canada
We seldom see anything in your magazine from Canada, so this being our Centennial year, I thought it might be fitting to contribute a bit about our Agricultural Museum of Manitoba and our four day Threshermen's Reunion.
Quite a number of Canadians receive the ALBUM and quite a number attend Threshermen's Reunions each year down south and enjoy them very much.
There is only one Agricultural Museum in Manitoba and it is situated at Austin, Manitoba on the Trans-Canada Highway west of Winnipeg and it is here we run a Reunion each year on the last four days preceding the first Monday in August.
This year will be our 14th reunion and each year seems to get bigger. The first two days for the past five years, we have held a gymkhana and Rodeo in connection with the reunion. The parade is the highlight of each day with at least 40 units including steam and gas taking part.
A good friend of mine takes your Steam Threshers Magazine, and he has been giving it to me to read, after he finishes reading it, which I gratefully enjoy reading and looking at the Pictures.
Nothing thrilled me more when I was a kid at home on my father's farm then when the Steam threshing outfit pulled in our yard in the Fall and pulled it between the grain stacks around the 1900 years.
I always liked to run machinery, so when I was on my won about the time the gas tractors come out, I got my first gas tractor in 1918 an 8-16 (Avery) and traded it off in 1919 and got a 3 wheel 12-24 (Happy Farmer). Then I got a 24 inch Peerless or (Emerson Brantingham) separator and later got a 28 inch size machines and did a lot of custom work till about 1955 when the combines came, then I sold my larger machine and bought this small old (Woods Brothers) for my own use.
I usually have 15-18 acres of oats and cut and thresh 4-5 acres as I blow straw in my barn where it is handy for bedding.
I am sending this picture mainly that my friend John Vander Mass of Muscatine, Iowa will be surprised to see his Picture as he is pitching into the machine, as he wanted to come out and see me thresh.
He really enjoyed it, I am not telling him about this, till he sees his picture in the next issue.
This (21 inch) Woods Brothers Separator is the one that was made for the first Fordson tractors.
I will be 80 years old in July. I still farm my 127 acre Farm.
Our Museum grounds cover more than 160 acres now and with more buildings include a school house which getting to be quite a show place. These building include a school house which is bulging with small museum items; a large steel building donated by the Manitoba Government which houses larger articles as cars and etc.; a new five roomed house with full basement which is a home for the curator and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. John Powers and a large pole shed with additions to either side to house large engines and etc. There is another steel building, size 70 x 120 feet, which is being constructed as a Centennial Project and it should be finished by June and will be for display purposes.
If we move a little to the North, where all the activity takes place during the four July days we see a large grandstand which seats around 3500 spectators. Among the other buildings are two long dining rooms where full course meals are served, also numerous booths which cater to the large crowds each year. Isn't is wonderful that such a museum exists to preserve the past for the future?
1967 is Canada's 100th Birthday, our Centennial year. Of course we can go back in history a lot further than that to 1497 when Cabot landed at Newfoundland.
The drawing is our Centennial Sign, made up of eleven triangles in the shape of a maple leaf, representing our ten provinces of Canada and the extra triangle is for Northwest Territories, which is not a province and is north of Canada.