Box 864, Winkler, Manitoba, Canada
The annual Threshermen’s Reunion at Austin enjoyed its best
year when it completed its four-day run last week with an estimated
14,000 people coming to see it this time. This was the eleventh
year for the event at which people come to see Manitoba’s
display of machinery and household articles from early times in the
province. Many of the machines permanently in store at Austin date
back to life in the 1800’s.
This year’s Re-union had several new attractions to add to
the general historical displays and events. For the first time a
rodeo and gymkhana were held with calf roping and steer riding
competitions held before the new grandstand seating 1,200
The rodeo was run during the first two days of the Re-union with
midway attractions being set up for the final two days. In addition
there were numerous events putting older machinery through its
paces, including threshing competitions, sawmill operation and ramp
climbing. A daily parade of display units at the Austin museum was
In the eight years since the Austin Agricultural Museum was
first set up over 450 household articles have been submitted to it
and these were out for viewing during the Threshermen’s
Re-union last week. More of these historic items such as old
handlooms and butter makers are continually arriving at the museum,
according to its curator, 82-year-old Lloyd Tennis.
One of the more recent arrivals, a special satiny apron said to
be over 100 years old and which was brought over from the Orkney
Islands by a Manitoba settler. It was submitted to the museum by a
Lyle ton woman.
Very often it is up to Mr. Tennis to establish and identify some
of the articles that are brought in, a task that would baffle the
average person. Mr. Tennis, however, calls on a lot of experience
to identify items along with a good knowledge of history and what
was used in the ‘good old days.’
He will often refer to older books for articles that had their
origin in European countries. One he mentions is the Chambers
encyclopedia which was published in Britain.
Among recent machinery at the Austin museum which is growing
steadily are three steamers, a Rumley and two Nichols-Shepard
models, six gas engines and a 1922 binder.