Nowthen Threshing Show brings the past to life

by Briana Sutherland
Contributing writer
Visitors took a step back in time at the Nowthen Threshing Show Aug. 19–21, as the past was brought to the present all weekend long.
The threshing show is a three-day event where guests can watch demonstrations such as corn chopping, blacksmithing and grain threshing as well as wander through a restored school, church, log buildings, general store, steam house and many other buildings.  Tractor pulls, children’s activities, the Parade of Power and a petting zoo offer many options for every member of the family during the weekend.
Each year the threshing show designates a brand of tractor and engine to feature for the show.  They are the spotlight during the Parade of Power and usually result in a larger number and variety of these tractors and engines and give that particular type the opportunity to shine.  This year featured the John Deere tractors and International gas engines.  The tractor pull held on Friday featured antique and classic tractors and Saturday night featured classic tractors.
Del and Donna Pearson take their grandchildren, Tyler and Zach, to the threshing show every couple of years and have an excellent experience each time.
“The best part is the parade,” said Donna as they watched the grain threshing demonstration Friday afternoon.
The aroma of sweet molasses cookies was enough to draw anyone near the log house.  Inside you would find Allison Krueger, Jesi Goetze, Grace Monte, Madeline Krueger and a few other women busy cleaning and cooking as visitors passed through the house.
“We demonstrate old-style cooking,” said Goetze.
Everything inside the house is authentic to the time period.  Throughout the day they sampled food such a Swedish flatbread, molasses cookies, soup and pastries to anyone who came through.
“It’s like a big playhouse in here.  It’s fun to relive and trade places for awhile,” Goetze said.
On the porch of the Craft Building, Patty Lohse spun alpaca fur on her spinning wheel her husband built.  This is the fourth year Lohse has participated in the threshing show and looks forward to it each summer.
“The threshing show is a wonderful thing, it has a country fair feel,” said Lohse.
Over in the blacksmith shop, Pete Stanaits and other men were busy pounding away making tools and supplies that would’ve been sold to other community members.  Items such as nails, tongs, wrenches, lighting equipment, strikers and chains were all crafted and supplied by a local blacksmith.
Stanaits explained to the visitors the use and importance of “S” hooks.  These hooks were the early form of temperature adjusting while cooking.  The more hooks, the closer it got to the fire and the hotter the food became.  By removing a hook or two the food moved farther away from the fire and the slower it would cook.
“I’ve been here since 1986 and haven’t missed a year since,” said Stanaits.  “I absolutely love the people and questions.  I hope they leave with more knowledge and have a good time.”