Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Threshing We Go!

antique steam engine operating a 1928 Red River Separator threshing machine
Steam Engine and Red River Separator

We have lived in rural places before but we've never had experience with farming so when we read that the Saanich Historical Artifacts Society was having their annual "Threshing Day" fundraiser we decided to see what it was all about. Well...the first thing we did was watch the threshing. The steam engine pictured above is more than 100 years old and it powered the Separator which was manufactured in 1928 and has threshed every year since. The photos below show the process but don't depict well the true intricacy of the machinery and all its smoothly moving parts - and this baby is 84 years old!

close up shot of antique dental equipment on tray
Antique dental equipment - open wide and pray!
After the threshing we spent several hours walking the Historical Artifacts Society property at Heritage Acres.  We could have spent days...they had everything.  Imagine every possession a pioneer family owned and then the evolution of every one of those items plus every new invention until about the 1950's. Tens of thousands of items ranging from antique dental equipment to antique cars, match box collections, cameras, a full room of old printing plates and typesetting equipment, dozens of sewing machines, lanterns, scales, bottles, clocks, radios, books, shaving kits, tea name it - they had it.  We've never seen anything like it.

There were barns full of cars, buggies, boats, equipment...

The tip of the iceberg (make that a glacier!)

We truly could not do this museum justice. One of the items we did come across that was quite interesting was this 1940's Barn Breeding log.   

Wonder what the "Service Dates" apply to?

One of the more amazing aspects of the Historical Artifacts Society is that it is entirely run by volunteers and many of the pieces of antique equipment donated over the years from farms, shipyards, and all manner of esoteric sources have been restored and are operable. These folks have a wealth of knowledge and experience that they have put to work to preserve their heritage.  They also graciously shared that knowledge with anyone who was interested...including a couple of city slickers like us!


  1. Hubby even stopped by to see the thresher and cars. He loves farm equipment and just about any 'old' thing. Including me!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Carol. Rick was enamored with the machinery too!

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