This is the history of one of the oldest open cylinder threshing
machines in America. This machine has been recently rebuilt by its
present owner Mr. Hugh Chisholm of Sarnia, Ontario.
The cylinder, concave and two main bearings, came out in the
year 1856 and was purchased by a Mr. John Gillatly of Reece’s
Corners, a few miles east of Sarnia. Mr. Andrew Gillatly, the great
great grandson of the purchaser of this machine had it lying out by
the end of his barn, not a chip to be seen off it. This threshing
machine had been handed down from generation to generation. How it
had escaped the junk dealer no one quite knows.
Mr. Charles Spicer of Corunna told me about this machine and one
summer evening we drove out to see it. Mr. Gillatly had never been
interested in selling this old machine to anyone. I told him I
would like it for the Western Ontario Thresher men’s Reunion
and asked him if he would like to see the 20 in 4 bar cylinder
threshing again. He said he would and I made an offer which Mr.
Gillatly accepted. So we put the cylinder and concave in the back
of the car and brought it back to Sarnia.
I did the rebuilding job in my basement, building the front part
first, then adding the decks and cleaning shoe. Thus this threshing
machine is an 1856 and a 1957 model combined the last threshing
machine built in Sarnia.
This machine which was used in the Gillatly family for many many
years working all winter long run by a tread power has reached its
last resting place the Goderich Museum where it is to remain along
with many relics of its day. It can be seen working at the