Threshing Day Again in Birch Hills

·3 min read

Sunday August 14, 2022 was the 26th Annual Threshing and Family Fun Day in Birch Hills hosted by the Birch Hills & District Historical Society. The day started off in grand style with a pancake breakfast sponsored by the Town of Birch Hills and held in the Duane Lowe Community Centre, followed by an interdenominational church service held on the Museum Grounds. The day followed the pattern of those that went before, with food available both in the museum and on the grounds outdoors and musical entertainment taking to the stage in the Coverall Building on the grounds.

New this year was the Trade Show and the Antique Car Show. Present at the trade show were local artisans and home businesses and the ever-popular home baking, which could arguably be considered an artform in itself. The car show gave car aficionados the chance to marvel at the amount of work the owners had lovingly invested in their vehicles and to reminisce about the vehicles they themselves once cruised the country roads in.

Birchview Home, a 30-bed Special Care facility, which is located adjacent to the museum held their 11th annual farmers market and fun day in conjunction with the annual Threshing Day. A fundraising silent auction, raffle and 50/50 draw were run by volunteers with all proceeds going to the Birchview Recreation Department and the Eden Committee to enhance the lives of all the residents living at Birchview Home.

Historical Societies are becoming less and less common, but their value goes far beyond preserving artifacts of days gone by. An historical society is in essence an educational institution. Its very existence promotes the learning of the history of a place and time. Its role is that of an organization dedicated to the preservation, collection, research and interpretation of historical information or items to help future generations understand their heritage. However, this becomes a bigger and bigger task with each passing year as populations and demographics change and the local populace have a weaker or non-existent connection to the past the museum and historical society are trying to preserve. Growth and development are inevitable and indeed are necessary for survival, but historical societies have the firm belief that a good knowledge of the past is needed to create even brighter futures. As Tamara Hemmerlein stated in her blog, The impact of Local History Organizations, “Local historical organizations are about preserving the past, but they are also about dealing with loss. They have the ability to recognize the local stories and to advocate for preserving not just the buildings and artifacts but also the voices of the past. They help tell the smaller, oftentimes quieter, stories that get lost in the larger narratives. Local historical organizations help us find the truth in our collective pasts and can be powerful leaders in the process of reconciliation.”

The annual threshing demonstration is always a fascinating experience for young and the not-so-young who want to see how things were done “in the old days”.

Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wakaw Recorder