The Third Annual Steam Threshing Event will be Aug. 2 and 3 at the Illinois Amish Heritage Center.
The 2019 event will feature harvesting and threshing of oats. The oats will be cut and bound into sheaves by a horse-drawn mechanical binder prior to the event, after which the sheaves will be stacked into shocks for drying in the field. On the day of the event, they will be loaded onto horse-drawn wagons and transported to the threshing machine, which will separate the grain from the chaff and straw. The grain will be directed to a bin and the straw will form a hay stack that will continually grow with each new round of threshing.
The threshing process will be done using antique farming equipment, including a 1924 steam tractor and threshing machine made by the Keck-Gonnerman Company of Mt. Vernon, Indiana.
Other antique and vintage agricultural equipment will also be on display. Farm equipment demonstrations will feature a John Deere stationary hay baler, old engines and steam engines, a grist mill, a buzz saw, and the old methods of threshing grain by hand with flails and a fanning mill. Blacksmithing and horse shoeing will also be demonstrated.
The event will once again feature a petting zoo, including baby lambs, baby goats, a baby pony, baby calves, ducks, chickens, a peacock and other familiar farm animals. Visitors will also be able to enjoy pony rides, buggy rides and train rides. Other activities for children will include tug-of-war, and the popular “quarters in a haystack.” Pitching horse shoes and other activities will be available for the adults.
New for this year will be a “Parade of Power” to be held at 6 p.m. on Friday and at noon on Saturday. The parade will feature horse and tractor power with descriptions presented over the sound system.
The 1865 Moses Yoder House and the 1882 Daniel Schrock House will be open for tours. Activities and displays will be featured in the houses.
A food tent will serve meals and ice cream made by machines powered by early gas or steam engines. Vendors will also sell kettle corn, lemon shake-ups, crafts, and other items of interest. Admission will be by donation with the funds used for the further development of the Illinois Amish Heritage Center. Times will be 1-8 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday. Everyone is welcome, and invited to participate in a day of fun for the entire family.
The Illinois Amish Center is located off of Interstate 57, nine miles west of Arcola, through Chesterville on Illinois Route 133. From Arthur, it is located three miles east on Rt. 133.