Featuring all kinds of family fun, the Stettler P&H (Parrish and Heimbecker) Elevator Harvest Supper is set for Aug. 24th with events kicking off at 2 p.m. and supper slated to run from 4 to 6 p.m.
Besides a delicious turkey dinner with all the trimmings, other highlights of the day include a threshing demonstration, flour and breadmaking and a rope making demonstration as well.
Everyone is welcome and admission is by donation.
“We have two major fundraisers – one is the pancake breakfast in May and the other one is this harvest supper,” said Stan Eichhorn of the Society. It’s also a chance to bolster awareness about what the Society is all about.
Entertainment will also include a performance by Danny Gibson.
Last year, about 350 people attended.
“I think we want to (build) more of an appreciation of what we have here with regards to our historical background of grain farming, too,” said Evelyn Shursen, a Society committee member. “When you go through the elevator, see all the pictures and talk to the people who work here, you can get a better appreciation for what we are trying to preserve,” she said.
The elevator itself, which is in amazing condition thanks to the dedicated efforts of members of the P&H Elevator Preservation Society, closed back in 2003. P and H ran it, and had done so since 1920, said Eichhorn.
But with the end of once-thriving grain elevator era, the site’s future was looking bleak. In 2004, they were looking at demolishing it.
At that point Eichhorn, who has a strong passion for helping to preserve local history, obtained the elevator, and in 2005, the P&H Elevator Preservation Society was launched.
Grain elevators were at one time a common site across the prairies – with some 5,500 throughout western Canada in earlier years.
In Alberta, there were over 1,700, he said, adding that there were also more than 300 grain companies in western Canada in those days. Years back there would have been at least six standing in the Stettler community.
Meanwhile, proceeds raised from the pancake breakfast back in May and the upcoming supper go to support the ongoing work of the Society.
Eichhorn is also involved with the process of compiling information for a Stettler history book, and he’s encouraging local folks to contribute to the project.
Organizers are looking for stories 750 words or less about families, businesses, and interesting anecdotes that may have happened while they lived in the region.
Hand-written submissions are welcome, and since they will be using Microsoft Word, any material coming in that format would also be very helpful.
Organizers can also scan most old photos, some negatives and some slides.
And it doesn’t have to be just material that goes back a long, long ways. “Even if they’ve only been here six months – they’ve probably got a little bit of history about Stettler. We need their stories.
“We have about 160 submissions now. We think that could make up about half a book,” he said. “That’s about where we are.
“We also don’t want to re-iterate what’s in another (local history) book, but the point is that some of those books were written 20, 30 or 40 years ago. So there are generations since then.
“If there is a family out there and there have been a couple more generations since they were first written about, we’d be happy to hear from them. We are not discounting anybody who really wants to be in it anywhere from Botha down and including Big Valley, and over towards Nevis and Content and up to Rochon Sands and the southside of Buffalo Lake. It’s basically that area that we’ve said, ‘Let’s try to concentrate on this’.
The book project committee meets the third Monday of the month at the old ATCO building starting at 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome, and the next meeting runs Aug. 19th.
For more information about the Stettler History book project, call 403-742-2249. You can also check out www.stettlerhistory.ca or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find them on Facebook at ‘Stettler History Book’.
Submissions can also be mailed to P.O. Box 1437, Stettler. The postal code is T0C 2L0.