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A glimpse inside: The Five Point Threshers Reunion PDF Print E-mail
Written by BILL RYAN/Sentinel Farm Editor   
Thursday, 01 August 2013 12:17
Logan Saam, 5, watches as Tom Deverna gathers wheat for the thresher Sunday morning during the antique farming equipment exhibit in Perrysburg. (Photos: Shane Hughes/Sentinel-Tribune)
LIME CITY – The sights, sounds and smells which filled the air Sunday took visitors back to the turn of the century — the 20th century.
Despite having to use the rain date, the annual Five Point Threshers Reunion drew large crowds to the corner of Five Point and Lime City roads.
The annual event is both entertaining and educational as those attending have the opportunity to see how farming was done in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Though the steam threshers may have been the focus, there were numerous other old tractors and equipment. More importantly, much of the equipment was used to demonstrate how farming was done in that era.
The distinctive smells of wood and coal burning, along with the threshing of wheat, provided a nostalgic treat for the nose. The varying stacks billowed smoke ranging from white to black and most shades of gray as well. The identifiable sputtering and chugging of the engines around the area was a near-constant throughout the day. The noise would be drowned out periodically by the hissing and the occasional whistle of a steam engine.
Interestingly, the modern technology of dozens of smart phones were capturing the images of days gone by.
Also on display was a small one-cylinder groundhog threshing machine, one of the earliest forms of threshing.
Both the young and the old enjoyed the event.
Merlin Pollock of Waterville said he regularly attends as he likes to recall the ways he used to farm.
“I like watching them because I used to cut the wheat just like that,” Pollock said.
“It always used to be a community event, we all worked together that way,” he said noting how he always enjoyed the food served by the farm family whose field was being harvested and threshed.
“Back then we only had horse and buggies, so you didn’t go very far,” Pollock added.
“Most of your neighbors farmed,” he said. “We were better off then, people were more friendly.”
He recalls how at times of tragedy, like a death, everyone would come together to help out.
His daughter, Sue Hannewald confirmed, “It took a community to do the work, so everyone helped each other.”
Zach Johnson carries bundles of wheat Sunday morning during the antique farming equipment exhibit in Perrysburg.
He also shared how they would build a framework and blow the straw on top of that framework to provide shelter for the animals.
“That kept the steers warmer than they would be in the barn,” he said of the more natural insulation.
His grandson, Otsego graduate Mike Hannewald, said he likes to come every year not just to see the equipment but also to “listen to the stories grandpa tells.”
Hannewald said though modernized, the old threshers used the same principles and concepts as the new combines. “It’s basically the same machine.”
Among the other sights at the reunion was a 1928 Dodge driving all around. It reportedly had only 3,000 original miles on it.
Kate Holman, a three-year-old visitor from nearby Perrysburg, was not extremely talkative, but she did admit she really enjoyed it. Her family said she helped load the wagon, rode on, and even drove one of the steam engines for a short time.
Ben Youtsey of Michigan said he loved the bean soup which was available for purchase. He was the oldest of four generations in his family on hand. The youngest was newborn Skyler Swartz.
The event is noted for the soup as well as the fresh steamed ears of corn.
Jim Lashaway had his 1917 Russell and Company steam engine on hand. The engine was driving a belt which provided the power to thresh the wheat during a demonstration of the separator.
Lashaway bought the engine in 1988 and restored it. He brings it every year to this event which this year was held on the property where his great-grandfather, Leroy Lashaway, homesteaded decades ago.
“We do this as an antique farming display. The beauty is you can walk up to it and even participate if you want,” Lashaway said. “This is what they did in the 1880s to 1920s.”
“I’m glad they do this to keep these traditions alive,” Sue Hannewald said.
Last Updated on Thursday, 01 August 2013 16:35

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