Sunny and warm for Planting Day

Although attendance numbers were lower than usual for Planting Day on May 16, those who did come enjoyed sunny skies and warm temperatures. The men doing the plowing and harrowing seemed to be enjoying themselves out in the field, including a visitor from Ontario who took a turn with John’s team. It was a day made for kids, who amused themselves with the swing set, sandbox, and of course the ice cream. In fact, it was almost too warm for hot dogs and hamburgers, witness the lineups at the ice cream booth. Our volunteer scoopers had their hands full. Ron and friend kept their fiddles going on what was newly proclaimed as National Fiddling Day, adding a lively background to the activities.

Oats will be seeded in the newly worked land, to be harvested later this year at Harvest Festival.


Planting Day

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May 16, 2015 (rain date May 23)

Watch teams of heavy horses and antique tractors plow, harrow, and seed the land.

Tour buildings and see artifacts.

The Cookhouse will be open.

Event begins around 10:00 a.m.

Admission by freewill offering for the Northville Farm Heritage Centre

Contact: (info at

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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!


DSCF0644DSCF0598taken from sledsnowblower & snowhillkid & shovelon sledJohn and Percheronsmarshmallows

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!