Welcome to the PTM
 
Located on Hwy #3 between Winkler & Morden, MB
(Look for the "tractor in the sky!")
 
Box 1103, Winkler, MB
R6W 4B2
 
204-325-7497
 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
 Geocache Co-ordinates:
N49*11.488 W098*00.907
 

 
Hours
 
May 15 - Sept 30
(May 1 - 14th by prior arrangement;
contact us by e-mail)
 
Monday - Friday
10 am - 5 pm
 
Sat, Sun & Holidays
 1 pm - 5 pm
(unless otherwise written
- see 'Events' tab)
 

 
Admission
 
Adults (16 - 64):  
$10.00
 
Seniors (65+) and
Youth (ages 9 - 15):
$5.00
 
Children (8 & under):  FREE
 
Note:  NO dogs or smoking allowed in buildings
  
School buses:  $85.00
  
Groups + tour buses welcome
 
Cash + cheques (Cdn) accepted
 
 
Catering available:  Inquire
or click the 'Rentals/Meals' tab
 

Pembina Threshermen's Museum - History

  

Stepping Back ... in PTM History

 

The 1960’s was termed the "new generation" as revolutionary change permeated every level of society. In the Pembina Valley of Manitoba, several steam engineers of the past generation gathered together to remember the good old days ... and what started out as the small steam "threshing bee" held at a local farm, led to a full two-day event of activities and demonstrations that later became known as the "Threshermen’s Reunion" and ultimately "Reunion Days".

A second one-day event (Heritage Day) was also added annually in June, offering similar attractions as the Fall event ... and as of 2013, several additional great events were added to increase the PTM's "Line up of Events" for the crowds of excited people visiting the museum each year, from around the world.

2018 marks a significant milestone for the Pembina Threshermen’s Museum (PTM), as it celebrates its 50th Anniversary of "keeping our heritage alive" ~ thanks to the countless devoted Board Members, VHMs, Managers, Summer Students and volunteers who have kept it going over the years.

We look forward to many more years of creating memories and fostering appreciation for our local heritage, for those who walk through our gates and in the meantime, join us ... as we take a walk through the Pembina Threshermen's Museum (PTM) history!

 

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE PTM MUSEUM’S HISTORY

The vision of the five founders of the Pembina Threshermen's Museum (PTM) was dedicated to the preservation of local heritage for future generations to enjoy and the purchase of a separator (threshing machine) for $300 was the first of what is now a large collection of farm machinery and artifacts at the museum.

* Founders of the museum are: William V. Elias, George Geortzen, John Letkeman, John Fehr and Abram Hiebert.

1966 - Mr. W.V. Elias bought a threshing machine at William Reimer's grandfathers auction sale and intended to have it simply as a keepsake, since threshing machines were mostly obsolete by that time (mid-1960s). He found it to be in pretty good condition though and started to wonder about having an old-time threshing day on his farm in Fall?

Mr. John Fehr from Neuenburg (who also use to have a threshing crew and was very interested in steam engines) got together with Mr. Elias and together they started planning the day. Adolf Krushel who owned Standard Gas Engine Works in Morden at the time also had a good few steam engines, so one was brought over to Mr. Fehr’s.

The five local farmers (W.V. Elias, John Fehr, Abram Hiebert of Morden (also a steam engine fan), George Goertzen and John Letkeman) formed a committee and gathered at the William V. Elias farm south of Winkler, where the first of what would become an annual "threshing bee" was held in the Fall of 1966.

They had contests and prizes for things like the best load of sheaves coming to the separator, sheaf typing and pitching, nail driving and potato peeling contests and the ladies brought food. There was a lot of interest and a good turnout, so they decided to do it annually and for a second year, it was held at the Elias farm.

1968 - For the sake of a more central location, the event was moved the following year to the Frank Wiebe farm in Burwalde and as the "threshing bee" increased in popularity, talk started about a possible museum ... and the Pembina Threshermen's Museum was 'born'. 

Incorporated by the five founders on August 13th as a non-profit organization it would collect, restore, preserve and display antique machinery, tools, household effects and other artifacts used by our forefathers that settled in the Pembina Valley. 

1969 - Frank and Willie Loewen then donated four acres and the event was moved to the property where the museum is located today. The members of the museum board at the time thanked Frank and Willie "for their very appropriate and suitable gift in the donation of a four acre plot to this organization on which to establish our museum, which we hope will be of great benefit to our communities and future generations".

1970 - The first building (a large steel hangar, known as Building #1 for good reason), was erected on this land. The addition of this building was significant as it showed the committment of the founders to the future of the Pembina Threshermen's Museum.  It not only allowed the Valley Harvest Maids (VHM) ladies to offer a Dining Hall but it also offered an indoor location to display the numerous artifacts that were being donated to the museum.  Note: in 2018, after an extensive 2-year transformation, this original PTM building will re-open during the museum's 50th Anniversary (see 2018 for details - below). 

1972 - 8 acres of adjoining land (up to the railroad tracks) was purchased and donated to the museum by Merle Barkley, giving the PTM a total of 12 acres and the Morden CPR Train Station was moved there.  The station, which was in operation until the late 1960s, was built in 1905/06 and had a picturesque and unique architectural design with the Station Agent's home upstairs.  

1974 - The Braun House (built in 1885 in the Burwalde area, just north of Winkler) is a perfect example of a Mennonite log cabin and would have had an attached barn through the north door in the kitchen.  This house also has dove-tailing and engraved numerals at the corners to help with assembly.  It was moved to the museum by Peter Brown. 

1975 - One of the oldest one-room school houses in Manitoba, the Pomeroy Schoolhouse No. 58 was built in 1909 in the Pomoroy district (near Roland).  It is a typical example of schools that stood in every township before amalgamation.  It was closed in June 1954 and moved to the museum in 1975.  

1978 - The museum gained an early example of a typical small local church with the arrival of the Roseisle United Church.  This building is an example of churches found in each prairie community.  It was built and opened in 1891 and donated to the museum by the former Roseisle congregation in 1978 along with the organ that can still be heard playing during PTM events and pews that still look almost new, despite them being over a century old.

A second hangar, known as Building #2 was also erected during the mid-late 1970's to house more farm implements.

1980 - The Reimer House, another typical Mennonite home, also would have had an attached barn (on the east side) and has intricate detailing on the outside of the window frames.  It was built in 1878 and lived in until 1980, when it was moved to the museum from Hochfeld. 

A windmill was also added to the museum in the early 1980s.  They were common and used to pump water for livestock before electricity was available. 

1985 - A lean-to was added onto the west side of Building #1 to house miniature machines and displays built by local residents.

1987 - The current PTM Dining Hall (which was built within the past 10 years) was enlarged to accommodate more people for when the VHMs use it to cater for private functions and provide old-time meals during the museum’s event days. 

1989 - The PTM Office and a small barn, which is used for storage, were moved from the Research Station in Morden. 

By the late 1980’s, the museum had also built a replica of Mr. Pelser's Barber Shop in Winkler and although the building is not original, it is filled with the tools used first by "Dad Pelser" (when he started his shop in the 1930s) and then by his son Leonard, who continued to barber in the shop until the late 1990s.  Two more metal sheds were also erected to store the numerous tractors, small engines, etc. acquired by the museum.

1990 - The larger barn was built in 1928 to house the Morden Research Station's Percheron horses.  The interior layout design was changed prior to the building being donated to the museum in order to exhibit horse-drawn equipment and in 2018, a third floor was built to display additional agricultural artifacts.

1993 - The sod house was built on site and is an example of a dwelling that was dug into the ground (with the sod being used for the walls and roof) and often lived in by early immigrants as protection from the harsh elements of the prairie summers and winters.  At times, more than one family and/or animals (cows and chickens) would share a dwelling until additional homes or barns could be built.  Sod houses came in different styles.  

1994 - The accessioning (cataloguing) of donated artifacts began.

During the 1990’s, the museum also saw the addition of a coffee room built onto the Dining Hall, a caboose was acquired, replicas of a saw mill (that could be seen in the early days of the Pembina Valley) and a Blacksmith Shop (that displays tinsmith tools as well and which became well known in earlier times, as a 'social center' for locals) were built and a pole shed to shelter the ever-expanding farm machinery collection was added to the grounds.

2001 - The MTS Telephone Office (open in Winkler between 1948 - 1965 and now displaying a typical Post Office at the back along with 1960s mailboxes from the 1-6 District) as well as the building that was made into the Co-op General Store (as an example of the small town variety stores found in communities over the years) were both donated to the museum.  Note: the museum store also offers a full Library and a 'Ladies Shop' (as of 2017) at the back of the store.

2002 - The NWMP Outpost is an example of the log outpost buildings the Northwest Mounted Police used when they crossed Manitoba during the historic march across the west frontier in 1874.  It was built on site using the museum sawmill. 

There was a stall in activity at the museum for a period of almost 10 years and then a strong resurgence occurred once again, throughout the years of 2011 - 2018.

2011 - The Haskett Store was acquired by the museum and although it's not listed as a designated heritage building, this store has a long and important history in the community, both as a retail store and a home for many.  Well over 100 years old, it was moved to the museum and restored with finer collectibles being displayed (although some of its original post office boxes have been reunited with it and can be found at the back of the building). 

2014 - The Morden Tourist Booth was brought in and converted into a popular "Kid's Zone" Activity Center much to the excitement of the younger PTM visitors.

2015 - Built near Haskett, MB in the 1940s this elevator displays the museum flour mill with the 2nd floor being dedicated to the George G. Elias family, who built and ran it on their farm until the early-mid 1970s.  It was donated by the family and stands in honour of prairie elevators that have for the most part, disappeared from the landscape.   

2016 - Outdoor washrooms with wheelchair accessibilty and a 'family room' were built on the museum grounds, allowing yard visitors centrally located convenience, while providing Hall renters with privacy for their gatherings.

2017 - The museum acquired the "Wildlife Exhibit"  (building and taxidermy).  It displays animals from around the world and was donated by the Peter Dyck family.  The 'Ladies Shop' full of finer 'pretties' was opened at the back of the General Store in 2017 and it was also the first year for a PTM corn maze, which was an immediate 'hit' amongst visitors of all ages when it was added to the museum adventures.

2018 - "Brimberly Village" ~ in 2016 an extensive 2-year transformation began and the original museum building (Building #1) will be re-opened during the PTM's 50th Anniversary season after an exciting Grand Opening for the museum's remarkable new 'indoor museum' exhibit (with a very unique story!) that reflects an early-mid 1900s street setting and displays an impressive collection of antiques from that era.

 

Of course, enhancements have been made with the recent additions of events, marketing, promotion, etc. (click the "What's New" tab), however, this is where the museum is physically today after 50 years ... and as we celebrate our 50th Anniversary, our goal is to make it a celebration year in honour of our founding fathers for the insight they had. It would be priceless to see their reaction to what we now have to offer, today!

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Over the years, the Pembina Threshermen's Museum has had numerous Presidents, from William V. Elias (the first President) to Howard Thiessen (the current President), all of whom would like to express their sincere appreciation to

* ALL the countless hours the VHMs and other volunteers over the years have devoted in order to make the Pembina Threshermen's Museum (PTM) what it is today and

* ALL who have come to enjoy what started out as a humble collection of local artifacts

... but that has since graduated to become an exceptional outdoor heritage museum with multiple facets of ol'-fashioned adventure and events each season ~ that offers thousands of visitors from around the world the opportunity to explore southern Manitoba as they "walk through its history".

For "What's New" and full details/history on the PTM's impressive buildings, visit:  www.threshermensmuseum.com  

Prepare to be amazed!

                    

~ Celebrating 50 Years in 2018 ... of Keeping Our Heritage Alive! ~

 

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