Thursday, September 27, 2012

Corn Show at Glasgow, Wisconsin

Last April Sandy Ravnum, Media Specialist for the Galesville-Ettrick-Trempealeau Elementary Schools in Wisconsin, invited me to do my Farm Heritage Program in each of the three schools, and when Nancy and I came there, she guided us from school to school and gave us brief tours of each school. We had a really fun day.

Sandy understood how impressed we were with the area and the schools, and she decided to invite us to a local harvest celebration near Glasgow, Wisconsin, which is simply called "The Corn Show."

Last Saturday, after taking an enjoyable drive down Highway 61 from Redwing to Winona and then driving about another 25 miles through the beautiful countryside of Wisconsin, we arrived at the site of The Corn Show about 10:45 A.M. Nancy and I soon learned the area was rich with rural heritage and the people were eager to share their stories. So let me say first, we thank the people of Glasgow for sharing their farm heritage with us.

The site of The Corn Show is the school house and school yard of the country school which was built in 1921. The local organization takes care of the school and uses it and the sheds behind it for their annual harvest celebration.

The activities of The Corn Show were a combination of those found in a small county fair and a country school picnic.

Sheds in the back displayed produce to be judged:

Pictures from local families of past farm activities were displayed in an adjoining shed:

Machinery brought in by local farmers was displayed on the grounds:

 The basement of the school displayed preserves and crafts to be judged:

 In the afternoon games were scheduled to be played by adults and young people, but first the club served a great noon meal in the basement of the school.
After the leisurely meal and much visiting, people gathered upstairs in the schoolhouse to hear my one-hour Farm Heritage Program.

The stage in the front made the schoolroom a great place to perform. Nancy displayed our books and farm heritage photos along the wall of the room.

Audience members seemed to enjoy the show. Many were teary-eyed and gave me kind comments after the show, and several game me hugs.

In the afternoon popular games included the "bale toss" where men competed to see who could throw the bale the best distance and, pictured below, the ball toss and the rope pull.
Two young men competing by trying to throw the ball into the milk can.

Teams competing in the "tug of war."

After items were judged, ribbons were handed out and places were announced.

Our friend Sandy Ravnum, who invited us to the event, won the quilt competition.

Sandy's son Ted restored a 1965 John Deere 3020, which according to her husband Steve, was purchased by his family in 1965 and was the biggest tractor around the area at the time.

Owner demonstrating a small feed grinder powered by a small engine.

To show the size of the winning sunflower head, Sandy holds her hand next to it.

We revisited the photo display to get some closeups.
School interior in the 1940s.

There were lots of great pictures of harvesting (too many to post), but one that caught my eye displayed the pride and joy shown by farmers who no longer had to shovel oats or carry sacks when they unloaded grain. If you are on of those who remember unloading oats by hand, you understand what a big deal an elevator and a hydraulic hoist was at the time.

Before we left, we visited with Sandy and Dan, who is the president of The Corn Show organization.
Sandy, Dan, and I enjoying swapping stories as we visited before we left the event.

Jane Thompson, who had purchased a book after my program, caught us before we left to get a photo.

Sandy and I in front of the school.

We couldn't resist snapping a photo of a beautiful, huge oak (above)
before we hit the road for home (below).

The Glasgow Corn Show is an authentic harvest festival consisting of local people showing their produce to be judged. It is not an event designed to attract thousands of people, but it is more like a wonderful, friendly neighborhood get-together.

Now that's real farm heritage!

 Nancy and I felt privileged to be there and especially honored to be part of their entertainment program. 
We thank Sandy for inviting us and for sponsoring our lunch, and we also thank the many members of the organization for their effort in putting on the show. Their hospitality toward us made us feel welcome and helped us enjoy the entire event.

Photographs by Nancy A. Fredrickson

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