Returning to the Roots of Farming


Second Annual Steam Threshing Show will be held on August 3-4 at the new Illinois Amish Heritage Center three miles east of Arthur, Illinois. Times will be 10 a.M. – 6 p.M. On Friday and 9 a.M. To 4 p.M. On Saturday.

The 2018 show will be centered around harvesting and threshing oats rather than wheat. The oats will be cut and bound into sheaves by a horse-drawn mechanical binder two weeks before the event after which the sheaves will be stacked into shocks for drying in the field. On the day of the event, they will be loaded onto horse-drawn wagons and transported to the threshing machine which will separate the grain from the chaff and straw. The grain will be directed to a bin and the straw will form a hay stack that will continually grow with each new round of threshing. 

The threshing process will be done using antique farming equipment, including a 1924 steam tractor and threshing machine made by the Keck-Gonnerman Company of Mt. Vernon, Indiana. Other antique and vintage agricultural equipment will also be on display, including a 1954 Massey Harris model 44 tractor owned by Sam Miller, a 1931 John Deere D owned by George Kauffman, and many other antique tractors. Farm equipment demonstrations will feature a John Deere stationary hay baler, old engines and steam engines, a grist mill, field demonstrations of plowing and disking, with Belgian horses and the old methods of threshing grain by hand with flails and a fanning mill. Blacksmithing will also be demonstrated, as well as goat milking and butter churning.   All demonstrations will be “learn abouts” as they will be accompanied by explanations of the processes. 

The event will once again feature a petting zoo including baby lambs, baby goats, a baby pony, baby calves, ducks, chickens, a peacock and other familiar farm animals. 

Visitors will also be able to enjoy pony rides, buggy rides and train rides. 

Other activities for children will include tug-of-war and the popular “quarters in a haystack.” Pitching horse shoes and other activities will be available for the adults. 
The 1882 Daniel Schrock house will be open for tours and various domestic activities and displays will be featured in the house. Tours will be conducted by Owen Schrock who grew up in the house and is a grandson of the last owner of the house. Visitors can also see the progress being made on the restoration of the 1865 Moses Yoder house.

A food tent will serve meals and ice cream made by machines powered by early gas or steam engines. Vendors will also sell kettle corn, lemon shake-ups, crafts and other items of interest.  
Admission price will be $10 per person or $20 per car or buggy load. All funds will go to the restoration of the historic Amish houses and the development of the heritage center. Everyone is welcome and invited to come out for a day of fun for the whole family at the Illinois Amish Heritage Center.

The Illinois Amish Heritage Center is located at 284 Illinois Route 133, three miles east of Arthur and one mile west of Chesterville, Illinois. For more information call Wilmer Otto at 217-721-9266, Bob Doan at 217-543-2232, or visit or

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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