In 1960, the Watry Family thought it would be fun to invite their friends and family over to watch the next year's harvest of their oats. The family consisted of Nick Watry and his sons Milton, Ken, Gerald, and Norman. (With occasional visits from their sister Doris). In the the summer of 1961, they set up a Case Thrasher run by a very rare, 4-wheel drive Massy Harris Model GP tractor (which can still be found there today).
After all the fun they had, Ken Watry thought it would be a good idea to put on a demonstration show for the public. Ideas were thought up and organized in order to make it the club it is today. Meetings of the club were first held at Nick Watry’s house in his living room. A charter was drawn up and shortly there after it became an educational non-profit organization called the Lakehead Harvest Reunion Inc.
Through the years of hard work, enjoyment of the restoration of old equipment and keeping the past alive we’ve managed to put on consecutive shows every year for the past 50 years! Our shows started in October of 1962 with several of them in the snow, wind, sleet and rain, along with frozen water pumps, frozen water lines, and frozen fingers, therefore we decided to move our show to September.
For a long time we had a show on one weekend in September, and then we had a show two weekends in September for several years. Anyone who has tried putting on a Steam & Thrashing Show knows how much work it takes and if you have two weekends in a row, you can plan on doubling that amount of work! Since then, we only have it one weekend and we thought it would be enough to demonstrate our equipment and get in some warmer weather. Years ago we moved the show to the weekend before Labor Day weekend (last weekend in August) and there it has remained to this day.
Our show started out with 2 tractors, one thrasher, and a lot of fun. Now we’ve grown our show to include several steam tractors, dozens of antique tractors, gas engines, a sawmill, a lumber planer, a tractor pull, threshing, rock crushing, a flea market, and an actual railroad car diner (serving everything from sandwiches to full meals). We also have fried bread, an ice cream parlor, and a daily parade of our equipment. Plus, many other activities go on each day at our show.
Hope to see you, your friends & family out this year!