With the chugs and pops of vintage engines, the hum of an accordion and the piercing bang of a blacksmiths hammer, one could have been forgiven for mistaking it as a step back in time.
Rather, this was the sights and sounds at the 37th Annual Threshing Festival south of Prince Albert over the weekend. The event showcases vintage power machines and offers a glimpse at what agriculture and industry once were.
“People like to keep the old theme going. It is kind of unique,” Alan Andal said, president of the Vintage Power Museum. “Young people and younger adults haven’t witnessed this before, and for them, it is a chance to come out and see what grandpa or great-grandpa did over the years and how things developed.”
On site, old tractors and engines line shops. A blacksmith is seen as he hammers away while a rope maker sits across the road from a horseshoe repair person just steps away. A sawmill and threshing display is a few metres from where a general store with its shelves stacked full of period products sits next to a work-in-progress homestead and a wooden green and white church. Tractor pulls and kids events were also on display.
Most of the buildings were moved in from other locations, but all of the equipment and structures are restored and maintained by people passionate about the past. The canteen, for instance, was moved in from Shell Lake and a small Esso station is an exact replica of a former location in Weirdale.
“It kind of gets in the blood,” Andal said of restoring. “So much of it is what has built the world to what it is right now and things are flying so fast and developing so fast that a lot of it is going to go by the wayside and just disappear if we don’t [keep it up].
“It is a neat thing in my mind.”
This idea is shared by Bob Morgimer, who lives on site. He said the nostalgia attached to many of the pieces play a role in his desire to attend the event and help out.
“I remember coming into these old stores years ago and sitting around and having a coke with the fellas,” he said. “I wake up every day and come over here and I can walk into another world.”
He was equally as committed to keeping history alive and felt events like this and school tours were key. Though saying he has noticed younger people to not be as interested in maintaining the artifacts, he was confident that as they age, they would grow keen to keep them up.
“We have to try to preserve it in between this time,” he said.
On Twitter: @JournoMarr
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