2018 marked another banner year for the Pembina Threshermen’s Museum as it rang in its 50th anniversary.
At PTM’s AGM on Jan. 10, the museum reported that 7,867 people came through the gates during its 50th year in operation. The number was a bit lower than attendance last year, but the number could be attributed to a reunion of around 1,000 people that used PTM grounds last year.
PTM president Howard Thiessen said they have some projects they’re working on, like extending the roof on one of their barns. That project has been in the works for several years now.
Thiessen said the Reimer House will also need to be fixed in the near future, as some of the logs are starting to rot.
Thiessen and PTM manager Kimberly Striemer stressed the importance of the people who volunteer at the museum to help them keep the doors open and make the events truly memorable.
“We can have people at the gate but it’s got to be open,” Striemer said. “There’s a huge passion amongst the volunteers.”
“We have an amazing bunch of volunteers,” Thiessen agreed. “It’s hard to imagine that people are that willing to come out and give of themselves.”
Thiessen pointed to one recent incident at Reunion Days when volunteers were getting the parade together. Some of the tractors were slow to start, and at one point a group of volunteers was crowded around a tractor trying to get it started.
“It didn’t take long, somebody put their heads together right,” Thiessen said. “It’s just interesting to see that kind of enthusiasm. Those kinds of people are around, they’re there and they’re serious.”
Striemer said PTM is always looking for more volunteers, and fresh input and ideas from people.
The museum saw a number of new events and happenings in 2018. A bright new highway sign went up to alert passers by of the museums presence. Brimberly Village, a 4,000 square foot indoor street village was completed, and the corn maze doubled in size and spelled out ‘PTM 50’ for the museum’s anniversary.
PTM celebrated its official 50th Anniversary on August 13 with a 1960s car parade and by burying a time capsule on the grounds.
PTM also recorded a budgetary surplus, which Striemer said will make up for some past years that were heavy on expenses.
Striemer said people often come by the museum more than once and are surprised every time at how much history they have.
“There’s a lot out there, people don’t realize it,” she said. “They do come through and say ‘I had no idea all this was here.’ There’s also a lot more on the yard for kids, there’s things for whole families to do. The list goes on.”
“We’re reaching more people and they’re starting to make the time to come in,” she added. “That’s a huge part of what’s going on.”
Next year, Striemer said the museum wants to enjoy what they’ve worked hard to create. “We’ve spruced this place up, it’s not a gem in the rough anymore,” she said. “It’s drawing attention. We just want to enjoy that and help people enjoy it and finish up some of the things we’ve still got on the go and maybe take a breather before we start dreaming again.”