A new feature is being added to the web site.  Early in each month, a picture or pictures that are thought to be of general interest to visitors to the site will be posted here.  This month’s pictures were provided by Peggy Thompson who has gathered an impressive collection of photos from around Antigonish Co.

In keeping with the season, the following two pictures deal with harvesting oats in Lochaber as it was done, in this case, in 1956.

The first shows Robert Nichols, accompanied by another unidentified worker, operating a binder drawn by a three horse team.  The binder mowed the oats, then gathered and bound it into sheaves using (naturally) binder twine.  The sheaves were dropped behind the binder as it made its way around the field.

Here,Mr. Nichols is stooking the sheaves.  The sheaves were gathered, typically five to a stook, standing upright in the field to allow for maximum drying of the grain before threshing.

A day or two later neighbours would gather for “the thresher”.  The stationary threshing machine was powered by a belt run between a pulley on the threshing machine and a pulley on a tractor.  The men worked on gathering the sheaves from the field, operating the threshing machine and storing the grain and the straw in the barn, while the women prepared a sumptuous meal for the men once the threshing work was completed.

If anyone has a photo or photos of threshing day that they would be willing to share, please e-mail them to webmaster@lochaber.ca, and we can add it/them to this post.

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