Some wet weather and wind notwithstanding, the turnout at the Sukanen Ship Museum and Pioneer Village Threshing Bee was excellent, says President Gord Ross.
“It was excellent, excellent. From the inquiries and comments we had, we anticipated we’d have a lot of people if the weather co-operated.”
More than 600 people paid to see the event Saturday with more than 1,200 on the Sunday. “That doesn't include the kids.” Children under six got in free.
The museum did lose a few campers due to the rain. Rain drizzled much of the day Saturday with a few minutes that soaked a lot of people.
Janice and Chris Makey drove in the rain from Neilburg for the event.
They were happy they did.
“You have a great place here,” she said. “You couldn’t find most of this stuff any more.”
Describing themselves as “museum freaks” she compared the Sukanen Ship Museum favourably with the provincially funded Manitoba Agricultural Museum at Austin.
The threshing event brought back memories for guests.
Mary Mckenzie recalled threshing on the farm when she was a girl.
“I remember we made all those sandwiches and we girls got the left overs.
“I don’t remember how we got the thresher.”
“Every district had a thresher and they hired out,” said Orville Leugner.
Ron Walter recalled threshing when he was a little boy. “All the crew came to the house to eat and they ate bowls and bowls of food and pie.”
His mother took hot coffee out to the field in the afternoon. He got to drink some of the left over coffee.
By the barn, Jennifer Mang of Pangman showed her 24 years experience shoeing horses.
The farrier had about 20 observers at one point. She heats the shoes before putting them on the hoof. “The old timers will tell you that heating is the only way to get a good fit.”
Blacksmiths Aird Romisch and Frank Lloyd performed with the hot coals and the anvil.
A few demonstrations on Saturday were cancelled because of the wet soil and moist crop but the threshing proceeded. The threshing crew took a while to start, working to get the belts dried and running tight just as happened on fall mornings when the dew required precautions to dry the belt.
Large crowds viewed the two threshing machines, especially with the steam-driven Case tractor operated by the Bruce family.
Ross said the museum is relived to get some money in the bank after having to cancel right events since the pandemic started.
The museum had to cancel two collectible shows, two car shows, two family days, one haunted museum and one threshing bee.
“We have some projects we want to work on so it’s nice to have some money and we have some willing workers.”
One project being considered is a second collectibles show next summer on the museum grounds.
Ron Walter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org