The Humboldt Vintage Club held another successful Vintage Days with two days of events on Aug. 19-20.
Around 850 people came down over the two days to enjoy everything from the vintage tractor and truck pull to start the weekend, to the threshing demonstration to cap off the weekend.
Ken Klassen with the Humboldt Area Vintage Club was really happy to see the number of people come through the door, especially the number of young children, which far exceeded his expectations.
Gloria Weber with the Vintage Club says the work that has gone into the Vintage Days over the past 20 years has been to honour grandparents and parents who persevered during hard agricultural times in Saskatchewan.
This is also a great way to show the younger generation what was happening and what they went through, says Klassen, with a lot of work going into just surviving at the turn of the century.
Making sure families had enough wood for the winter was a full days work on the farm, he says.
“That’s how they had to get ready for winter, they had to have a big wood pile and that took a lot of cutting.”
A big draw for the crowd was the vintage tractor and truck pull with the bleachers full for the 40 tractors and two trucks entries on Aug. 19.
Every tractor and truck had two chances to do their best pulls.
Six teams participated in the heavy horse pull on Aug. 20 with pairs of two Belgian horses pulling the sled for their best distance.
Another big draw for the weekend was the fourth annual Grand Ole’ Opry stage with people packing the club building to take in Dion Niebrugge, Shirley Armstrong, Carey Dolan, Greg Marquis, Katie Nichol, and Bernadette Reifferscheid as Loretta Lynn.
Three vintage trades were also on display with a blacksmith, woodturner, and rope maker doing live demonstrations.
While metalwork techniques have changed over the years, Murray Cook likes to mix the modern and traditional at the Vintage Days blacksmithing shop. While some of his equipment is brand new, other pieces of his equipment has reached the 100 year old mark, he says.
After heating metal in his forge, Cook can make items that are more functional, artistic, or architectural, sometimes even combining all three.
“All you’re doing is shaping the metal, changing its volume to suit yourself, whether its a floral arrangement or something that’s more mechanical.”
Cook has been metal working the majority of his life, even as a welding teacher at Carlton Trail College during the school year.
Trying the next techniques just seems to be the next phase, he says.
Whether Cook teaches the traditional way to his grandkids is up to them, he says, but he still enjoys his time as a blacksmith and knifesmith.
“It would be a good thing to show them...those skills I’d like to pass on if they want but I hope I can continue until I’m in my 90s.”
Woodturner Brian Stomp says there is no risk of wood turning losing its luster since it is still a very popular hobby to get into.
“It’s strong all over the world. If you go on Youtube, you see people from all over the world that’s got their videos on there.”
Stomp does not exactly know how he got into it; he just likes watching stuff turn, he guesses, but after buying a lathe from an old friend, after awhile it became something he really enjoyed.
The trick is always having sharp tools, he says.
Vintage Club volunteer Al Moisan stepped in to make pieces of rope that people got to take home.
The rope machine was hand operated and has been around for a long time, although Moisan could not give an exact year.
Making rope by hand is a dying skill since most rope now is made using plastic and is mass produced.
“Nobody really thinks about how this stuff was made or grew up making it. Anybody who comes here and sees this at my age remembers these things because they grew up with it. Probably most farms had something like this.”
The Vintage Days have been bringing back the old days of Saskatchewan farming since 1996 with the first two years spent threshing at Bert Thieman’s farm, says Klassen.
Klassen says it takes more work to put it on than they have volunteers with so much going on but they are hoping the Days also promoted the club as a volunteer organization, he says.
For more pictures from the weekend, visit Humboldt Journal Photos.