HISTORY OF A THRESHING BEE


| January/February 1982



Threshing bee

Twenty-seven years ago, the late Evan Jones of Riverside, Washington, and his late brother Ike Jones, decided to try threshing wheat the 'old time way' with the old machinery that had been used many years previously on the ranch. They also decided to invite the public to 'see how it was done in the good old day' and to have a 'pot luck lunch' right in the field near the threshing rig.

People were looking for something 'different' to do on weekends and an old time threshing bee seemed to be just what the doctor ordered!

Jones chose the last Sunday in September every year for his 'bee' and it has been a success and a regular attraction since the first many years ago.

I believe there was only one Bee that Jones had missed, and that was while he was fighting a losing battle with cancer in the hospital. But faithful steam friends, his good wife, Ruth, his sons and other relatives and lovers of 'old iron, valve oil, rust and steam' put on the show just as if he were there to supervise it. The show was also responsible for many engine men (young and old) and their wives joining the organization called WESTERN STEAM FRIENDS ASSOCIATION with headquarters in Woodburn, Oregon. Later on the INLAND EMPIRE STEAM AND GAS BUFFS of Spokane, Washington was organized and both organizations work together to make one of the best old engine shows in the Northwest.

Jones started out with two Case steamers; a 1917 Case separator; an old McCormick reaper; and overshot stacker; a model T flat bed truck; a small Flex-tread tractor, plus various parts of old machinery. Later he purchased an International Mogul tractor. A couple years ago he traded that to a fellow in North Dakota for a 20-40 under mounted Avery.

There is also a Mogul steam locomotive with 2-6-0 wheel arrangement. This, however, had nothing to do with threshing and was a light duty freight engine.