Annual Special Event
Old Threshers Reunion

Hannibal, Missouri

September, 2019


Location: Junction of Highway B and Highway NN, Elsberry, MO

Dates: September 13 - September 16, 2018

Times: 7 am - 11 pm each day

Description: Since the dawn of agriculture, about 10,000 years ago, wheat has been the staple food for humans. When people immigrated to the New World, although they were pressed for space, many would bring a bushel of precious wheat seed from their homeland. Grain threshers such as the flail were among the earliest of the agricultural implements to be developed. By the mid-19th century American manufacturers began to produce many innovative machines to make threshing easier, many of the ideas worked out by the farmers themselves.

Prior to World War II harvest time involved an entire community. The process began with a horse or tractor-drawn binder that would cut and bundle the wheat stalks which would be stacked into windrows to dry. Once the wheat was dry crews of men and boys would go from farm to farm to help pitch the bundles into a threshing machine and haul the grain to the nearby grain elevator. The women and girls would cook huge homemade meals for the crews. When the first affordable combines became available in the late 1940s and early 1950s they were able to accomplish the work of the threshing machine and crew in one pass. Suddenly a job that gathered neighbors together annually for work and play became essentially a lonely, but efficient, one-person job.

Threshing reunions began in the early 1950s when farming families became nostalgic for the sense of community and camaraderie that accompanied the threshing season. The refurbished antique tractors set them for display, tractor pulls, homemade goods sold at booths, and large home style meals would become staples at these events. Beginning in 1970 the Lincoln County Old Threshers Association has been celebrating the Old Threshers Reunion every third weekend in September. Their many volunteers work hard throughout the year to recreate the time-honored experiences of historic farm life at this authentic threshers' reunion. Activities include a large display of steam and gas engines, gas tractors, old-time machinery, a working sawmill, MOSAC and Antique tractor pulls, horse pulls, home style meals, an antique merry go-round, a flea market, craft booths, and live entertainment in the big building.

Admission covers all 4 days

For more information call 573-221-6545
  or visit the event's website

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