Pioneer Acres on the Move
Herschel Cunningham of Cadiz, Kentucky as he works his yoked team of oxen.
Box 246, Strathmore, Alberta
PIONEER ACRES, one of the newest antique machinery clubs in Alberta, has proven itself to be the most successful club of its type in this province. Starting from a few interested collectors it has rapidly expanded to fifty enthusiastic members. Pioneer Acres is definitely on the move to the top.
During the early 1960's, a group of men started collecting and restoring antique tractors and farm equipment. The restored equipment consisted of a Case Steam tractor, several Rumelys and three Minneapolis tractors. They wanted to expand their collection and get more interested people helping restore the machinery. Thus, this was the starting of Pioneer Acres.
It wasn't until 1970, however, that Pioneer Acres actually became a club. Men came from various parts of Alberta to help restore and collect equipment. The club thought that they should let the public view the farm equipment their early ancestors once used. After careful planning they decided to put on a two day show. They did not want to just display the equipment, but to put it in actual operation for which it was once used. Several men loaned the club their antiques for the two day show. After several long hard months of collecting, restoring and painting the antique machinery, the club was ready to put on its first show.
At the show it was like stepping back into time. Once again, one could relive the days of horse, steam, and finally gas power. People stared in utter amazement at the hard tedious work it used to be, to put in the crop. Putting in the crop seemed like child's play compared to threshing it. It was hard to believe that there were any farmers in those days.
How could any one man do so much work? There were all kinds of gas and steam tractors in operation. If you had never ridden on one, the Pioneer Acres Show gave you that chance. Stationary engines of all sizes were on demonstration. Horsedrawn plows were illustrating just how long it took, and how hard it was, just to plow one field. The crowd loved every minute of it. Pioneer Acres, as little as it was, had put on a great show. The 1971 show proved to be just as great. There were now, however, more members and more antiques to help it become one of the greatest shows in Alberta.
The engine is a 12 HP Russell and was purchased in 1910. The thresher is a hand fed Russell with a slat stacker.
My father operated this outfit for many years in southeastern Ohio. Courtesy of Jewell Curtis, 33 Anne Street, Pomeroy, Ohio 45769.
The year 1972 will long be remembered by the members of Pioneer Acres. To start the year off, the Club was incorporated under the Societies Act. The 1972 Show turned out to be a tremendous success, with 2500 people attending. People came from all over the country to the Taylor Farm at Langdon Corner. Pioneer Acres had finally become the greatest antique machinery show in Alberta.
Today, Pioneer Acres is looking for a Home. They want some place where they can put their antiques on display all year long. The Club is planning bigger and better ideas for the 1973 Show. So if you want to step back into time, to relive the days of early farming, come to the 1973 Show of Pioneer Acres, which is about 12 miles East of the STAMPEDE CITY, Calgary, Alberta.