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Museum honors fallen farmer

Posted on Thursday, July 13, 2017 at 9:31 am

With the hum of the Northern Neck Farm Museum’s sawmill going in the background, people from all over the Northern Neck came to the museum’s “threshing day.”

Using antique implements the museum’s members and volunteers threshed a field of wheat that was growing on the museum’s grounds.

Museum director Aubrey Mitchell explained that the wheat was being collected with a binder that delivered it to a stationary thresher where the wheat would be separated from its stalks, or chaff. Once separated, the wheat would be bagged and the chaff saved for mulch, bedding and other uses to which straw is put.

Mitchell explained that the stationery thresher was later replaced by one that actually moved through the field threshing as it went. Originally, men had to stand on such threshers and bag the wheat as it was separated from the chaff.

In addition to the threshing and the saw mill operations visitors were able to look at antique tractors and other implements on the museum’s grounds and in the museum’s exhibition hall.

A highlight of the day was the induction of Thomas Wesley Berry as the museum’s first lifetime member. Wesley died at the age of 22 in April. His parents and grandparents accepted the plaque that noted his lifetime membership. Family members and Mitchell explained that Wesley, although having a terminal tumor from the age of 12, had been avid about tractors and farming all though school and was an active FFA member and participated in Farm Museum events.

The museum is located on Route 360 between Heathsville and Burgess.