NFHC Executive returned to office

At their annual meeting on February 26, 2015, members of Northville Farm Heritage Centre returned the same executive as before: George Foote as president, Hank VanHattem as vice-president, Aart Veldhoven as treasurer, and Pat Reeves as secretary.

A couple of new directors were appointed, David Eye and Carl Parrish, while Wilfred Kinsman and Cathy Foley stepped down. For the complete list of directors, look under “Contact” on this website.



Sunshine for Winter Frolic

After all those back-to-back snowstorms we had, the sun finally shone for Northville Farm Heritage Centre’s Winter Frolic on February 21. The wind was still sharp but snow-suited kids didn’t seem to mind as they munched hot dogs and marshmallows, watched a blacksmith at work, or sledded down a steep man-made hill. Two teams of horses took turns on the sleigh rides, with a full load of passengers every time. Incidentally, both these teams, with their owners, will be seen in The Lizzie Borden Chronicles. They had just spent fifteen days on the set for that series.

Only some of the adults knew the amount of preparation that had to be made for this event: men with big snowblowers and tractor buckets gathered on Thursday to clean off the parking lots and make a track for the horses through three feet of snow. Then, it snowed and blowed again on Friday, filling in those hard-won paths. Jos Van Oostrum was one of several volunteers on the scene at seven on Saturday, bringing his big snowblower to repeat Thursday’s job. Snow clearing was done just in time for the first arrivals at ten. Check the photos; to see if everyone had a good time!


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Winter Frolic coming up

Winter Frolic!

Saturday, February 21, 2015 (storm date Feb. 22) 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Northville Farm Heritage Centre

1158 Steadman Road (north of Billtown Church)

Horse-drawn sleigh rides, hot chocolate,

wiener and marshmallow roast, blacksmithing demo.

Bring your sleds and toboggans, kids!

Admission: Freewill offering

two sleighs copy

Corn binder restoration completed

Here are two pictures of our completely restored corn binder, taken from different angles. This project took three winters to complete. It has been completely rebuilt from the ground up, a very frustrating project as there are none in existence to copy. Our work crew had to rely on pictures that they gleaned from the web. The crew gives much credit to member Mike Parker, whose persistence, we’re told, is the only reason it got this far after others had given up.   There are also two shots of the new cooper shop, long discussed at directors’ meetings and now finally completed except for shingling, which will be done in the spring. 



Winter is quiet at NFHC

Winter appears to be a quiet time at Northville Farm Heritage Centre, but if you come at the right time there will be some activity on the site. Card parties happen most Wednesday evenings, barring bad weather or competing events. The cooper shop is under construction, with a few men showing up on Wednesdays, and some more often than that. Monthly directors meetings continue to be held on the first Thursday of each month, at 7:30 p.m. Anyone interested is welcome to attend these.

In the meantime, we were supplied with another batch of photos taken at Harvest Festival 2014 on August 31. Below we display some of them, mostly taken while oats were being harvested and threshed, but also a team of oxen and a fine old hay wagon.

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Activities continue at NFHC

The main events for 2014 are all over with at NFHC, but that doesn’t mean we’ve shut down for the winter. Directors continue to meet monthly (first Thursday of every month; everyone welcome).

A floor has been laid for the long-awaited cooper shop, so that’s a good start.

Card parties are going to get underway again on Wednesday, November 12, at 7 p.m. Contact persons are Marvin Brown at 679-1982, or Bob McLeod at 365-5180. Games being played are cribbage and 45s. Newcomers are very welcome! And if you read this notice, please pass it on to friends who might enjoy playing cards.

Plans are being made for the annual Christmas party, to be held Thursday, Dec. 4, immediately following a short business meeting at 7 p.m. Please bring something to eat and a festive mood. Annual dues of $10 are due at this time. Hope to see you there!

Gorgeous fall weather helps! (for the Fall tractor pull)

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Warm, sunny weather helped draw a good crowd to the 6th Annual Fall Tractor Pull at Northville Farm Heritage Centre on Saturday, September 27. There were 32 tractors entered, with drivers ranging from a young girl to older men. The atmosphere was relaxed as usual, with people enjoying the sun, the hot dogs, the socializing, and yes, the tractors pulling increasingly heavier weights. Announcer Gloria made sure the audience was kept well informed on each tractor, its owner/driver, the class currently underway, and the weights being pulled. The event was enhanced by a good display of antique cars and trucks, among which a tan coloured T-bird was especially appealing (wouldn’t we all love to have one?). People come from far away to show the work they’ve put into these old vehicles, as do the owners of the competing tractors. One reason for buying a rusty old relic and turning it into an authentic antique is to display it to the maximum number of viewers. Judging by the amount of work put into these vehicles it’s more a passion than a hobby. Cookhouse staff were kept busy serving their hot dogs, hamburgers, drinks, and ice cream until the end, when they were finally able to relax a bit. Several families brought their young children, for whom the horse hitching post became an instant monkey bar. The sandbox and swing set also got a good workout.  One woman using a scooter told us she found the site totally accessible. There are ramps to all the buildings, including Heritage Hall where the toilets are. In fact, Heritage Hall on this day displayed a sturdy, brand new deck with steps and a ramp leading to the grounds. At their monthly meeting next week, NFHC directors will be able to pat carpenter Hank on the back once again. Below is a list of all the winners:

3000LBS  1st  John Aten,  2nd  Jeffrey Morash,  3rd Richard Morse

3500LBS  1st  Richard Morse,  2nd  Monty Hall,  3rd  Mitchell Aten

4000LBS   1st  Jacob Pearson,  2nd  John Aten,  3rd  Monty Hall

5000LBS   1st  Mike Huntley,  2nd  Mark Bowen,  3rd  John Aten

6000LBS  1st  Monty Hall,  2nd  Tim Griffiths,  3rd  Shane Kaizer

7000LBS  1st  Robert Foley,  Tied for 2nd  Sherri Wright and Shane Kaizer,  3rd  Tom Levy

8000LBS  1st Lara Kretzinger,  2nd  Robert Foley,  3rd  Carmen Salter Jones

9000LBS  1st  Sherri Wright,  2nd  Carmen Salter Jones,  3rd  Lara Kretzinger

10000LBS  1st  Carmen Salter Jones,  2nd  Lara Kretzinger,  3rd  Sam Neatby

11000LBS  1st  Fred Salter,  2nd  Carmen Salter Jones,  3rd  Alison Woolaver

12000LBS  1st  Fred Salter,  2nd  Mike Sanford,  3rd  Alison Woolaver

14000LBS  1st Mike Sanford  2nd  Fred Salter,  3rd  Alison Woolaver