Morris Kurzuk

Plans going full steam ahead for this year’s Essex County Steam & Gas Engine Show

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Preparations are underway for the 34th annual Essex County Steam & Gas Engine Show.

Presented by the Essex County Steam & Gas Engine Museum, the show will be held Aug. 10-12 at Co-An Park in McGregor. Club members helped get ready by using a nearly 100-year-old binder to take wheat off of a field owned by Amherstburg resident Tony Simon. The field is at the corner of Concession 5 North and Middle Side Road (County Road 10).

Club president Gary Struhar indicated there will be several attractions this year including sawmill and threshing demonstrations, a tractor pull Saturday that is open to the public, a tractor pull Sunday that is sanctioned by the Ontario Vintage Tractor Pullers Association and more.

Morris Kurzuk sits atop a binder that was used to take wheat off of a field recently. This was in preparation for next month’s Essex County Steam & Gas Engine Show in McGregor.

Wheat that was taken off the field last Friday will be used as part of the threshing machine demonstrations.

“We have live entertainment Saturday and Sunday with four different bands,” said Struhar.

The Aug. 11 parade will see antique tractors leave from the parking lot at St. Clement’s Church, head south down Walker Road to Concession 11 before taking a left turn and heading east to Co-An Park. That Saturday morning parade starts at 9 a.m. Those interested in joining the parade can contact Donna Hanson at 519-816-4966 or via e-mail at donbak63@hotmail.com.

Opening ceremonies will follow the parade, said Struhar.

John Deere will be the featured tractor this year with two tents to be set up at Co-An Park to display tractors of that brand. Many of the tractors and other John Deere equipment will come from the collection of Amherstburg resident Darwin Wismer.

There will also be children’s games including “turkey in the straw” where tokens will be placed in a pile of straw and kids can get them out and redeem them on food or prizes.

“It keeps the kids amused,” said Struhar.

A binder that is nearly 100-years-old takes wheat off of a field at the corner of Concession 5 North and Middle Side Road recently. The binder is one of several pieces of antique farming equipment that will be on display as part of the Essex County Steam & Gas Engine Show Aug. 10-12 at Co-An Park. The wheat will also be used in the threshing machine during the show.

The idea behind the Essex County Steam & Gas Engine Show is so that the museum can further educate people about agriculture.

“It’s to show the people and to educate them on days gone by,” said Struhar.

The show runs Aug. 10 from 12-6 p.m., Aug. 11 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Aug. 12 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Admission is $6 for adults, seniors half price on Friday, children 6-12 years of age $2 and children under six free. A three-day pass is $12.

For further information on the show or the museum, visit www.essexsteamandgasengine.com or their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/EssexCountySteamandGasMuseum.

Preparations made for annual Essex County Steam & Gas Engine Show

 

By Jolene Perron

 

In the bright sunshine Saturday, members of the board of directors for the Essex County Steam and Gas Engine Show were out in a wheat field on Concession 5 North cutting wheat in a 1900s style machine.

One of the club’s members allows the group to cut approximately two acres of wheat from his field using their old-fashioned machine, which president Gary Struhar explained allows them to demonstrate how farming was done in the 1900s.

Members of the Essex County Steam and Gas Engine Show farmed approximately two acres of wheat Saturday afternoon on the 5th concession in preparation for their show Aug. 11-13 at Co-An Park.

Members of the Essex County Steam and Gas Engine Show farmed approximately two acres of wheat Saturday afternoon on the 5th concession in preparation for their show Aug. 11-13 at Co-An Park.

“This cuts it, and ties it into a 12-inch bundle,” said Stuhar. “Then they just take the bundles, put them on a wagon and bring them into the barns. The next generation after this was in the late 20s, which was the combine, where they cut it and thresh it. What we’re doing here is we’re cutting it, it’s going to spit out the spokes of straw, and then we’re going to put them up and put them on a wagon and put them in the barn. During the show we have a threshing machine, which takes the straw, oats or wheat, and it separates the seeds from the remainder, which is used for straw. We bale that up and use it for cows for bedding, and wheat is used for seed or for flour, stuff like that. Back in the day, everybody had to save their stuff to make bread if they wanted. The stores weren’t very plentiful. Out on the farm, you self-sustained everything.”

Member of the board of directors, Francis Orelens explained at the show after the wheat is threshed, and before the straw is bundled, they leave the straw in a pile.

“At the show, we will thresh it out with an old saw threshing machine and the grain goes one way into the bin, and the straw goes into a straw pile,” said Orelens. “We make a straw pile for the kids and we put tokens in there and they have a lot of fun finding the tokens, which they can them redeem at the show.”

Members of the Essex County Steam and Gas Engine Show farmed approximately two acres of wheat Saturday afternoon on the 5th concession in preparation for their show August 11, 12 and 13 at Co-An Park.

Members of the Essex County Steam and Gas Engine Show farmed approximately two acres of wheat Saturday afternoon on the 5th concession in preparation for their show August 11, 12 and 13 at Co-An Park.

Owner of the threshing machine and vice president of the Essex County Steam and Gas Engine Show Morris Kurzuk said when he came from Saskatchewan at 19-years-old, he brought his farming background with him. He and his family used to own a binder much like the machine they still use today, and he loves it because the farming he grew up with stays with him. He will be celebrating his 82nd birthday on the final day of the show.

The 33rd annual show will be held Aug. 11-13 at Co-An Park in McGregor and will feature International tractors and machinery. It will cost $6 for adults, $2 for children 6-12 and children under 6 will be free. They will also be selling 3-day passes for $12. And don’t forget about the parade on Saturday at 9 a.m., beginning at St. Clement’s Church parking lot along Walker Road, down Concession 11 to Co-An Park.

New to the show this year will be entertainment by Frank Cross, an Elvis Tribute on Saturday after their traditional chicken and rib dinner.

For more information about the festival, visit www.essexsteamandgasengine.com.

Old-fashioned binder helps kick off preparations for steam & gas engine show

 

By Ron Giofu

The Essex County Steam & Gas Engine Museum is planning its annual show next month and preparations are underway.

Club members were at the Amherstburg farm of Tony and Yvonne Simon last Saturday afternoon where a binder from the early 1930’s was in use removing wheat from a field. The wheat will be used in a threshing machine owned and operated by Morris Kurzuk of Amherstburg during the Aug. 12-14 show at Co-An Park in McGregor. Kurzuk also owns the binder that was used Saturday.

Kurzuk, 81, said he recalled being on a binder when he was 15 or 16-years-old. He has been using the threshing machine at the show for 20 years.

A binder from the early 1930’s was used Saturday to take wheat off of a field. The wheat will be used in next month’s steam & gas engine show.

A binder from the early 1930’s was used Saturday to take wheat off of a field. The wheat will be used in next month’s steam & gas engine show.

“When you grow up on the farm, it never leaves you,” he said.

The binder takes off wheat in six-foot strips while today’s modern combines have 40-foot tables in which to remove wheat.

The show will feature antique tractors on displays, steam engine demonstrations, a flea market, crafts, bake sales, tractor pulls run by the Ontario Vintage Tractor Pulling Association, the bean pot, souvenirs, saw mill demonstrations, entertainment, a car show and the 9 a.m. Saturday morning tractor parade down Walker Road and Concession 11 in Essex to Co-An Park.

Hours are 12 noon-6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday with admission being $6 for adults, seniors half price (Friday only), children 6-12 $2 and under six free. For more information, visit www.essexsteamandgasengine.com.