Old, but not broken

The older, the more broken. We all know that. Unless, of course, you take care of the stuff you have and you will be able to use it for the next one hundred years. There you have it, the recipe for longevity. But somehow, I’m not convinced that all that old stuff is really that old.


Today, I’ll present you a few pictures I found not so long ago and that might, just might, be worth looking at. We went out to a place called

the Mennonite Heritage Village. I have already blogged about places in Holland and in Ukraine that look similar. This one, however felt a little closer to home. Not sure why, since I have never been a Mennonite and I was born long after these instruments and objects were made. Also, I speak Dutch, not Low German or Old German as we call it in Holland.

Singer sewing machine for leatherSinger sewing machine for leather

My parents still have one of these sewing machines. Not that it is used, but it is in full working order. At least it was, last time I saw it. Ours is still in the attic, this one is displayed in full view. Not sure if it is being used from time to time, though, but it sure looks as if once fired up, it will sew all of your shoes again.


Apart from the old oil lamp to shed some light on the work at hand, I remember my father having something similar. A little less cluttered though. I doubt if anyone could do a decent job on a workbench this cluttered. The old hand saws, the hand drills and other tools all remind me of an old time in Holland. Even the work bench itself looked the same.


But something still is amiss. Like I said, I am not a Mennonite, never have been but I still feel somewhat connected to this historic place. I can’t really tell why. What may be the cause is the inscriptions on different objects and buildings. They remind me of Dutch, but are not. They look German but are not. Oh well, let’s not dwell on that and see what else we can find in the Mennonite Heritage Village in Steinbach, Manitoba. Everything here is in working order. Nearly everything can be touched. Probably not used in any real world situation anymore, though.

Windmill workingsWindmill workings

The windmill, destroyed by arson in 2000, has been rebuilt by a Dutch Windmill company, also responsible for the maintenance of original windmills in Holland. The windmill is now open to the public and fully functional. It still mills flour from time to time. I’m not sure if that flour is used somewhere, though.

Blacksmith shopBlacksmith shop

The blacksmith shop seems as if the fire had been extinguished only a few days ago. Probably because that is true. Displays of wrought iron and tools made by hand are all over the building and make it really come alive. Basically, if a tool was needed for some function in the village, the blacksmith would come up with some kind of solution and make the requested tool. Hooks and pincers of all kinds and shapes are visible here.

The General StoreThe General Store

This General Store looks as if it comes straight out of an old movie. Well this one was used in real life as opposed to may of the movie props that are used in Hollywood. There are some abandoned movie sets here in Manitoba and I intend to show your some of that in a future blog.

General CashGeneral Cash

One object that is really still functional, more than a hundred years old is the old Reeve Steam Tractor. We are all used to tractors of a “human” size. This one is a steam monster that is about 4 meters high.

Reeve Steam TractorReeve Steam Tractor

I decided to climb in the back to shoot a picture and came down with this. At this time the tractor was cold and dry, last summer it was standing outside, hissing and ready to be used.

And if you’re wondering where these pictures come from, well, I shot them myself, in different periods of the past century. No kidding, these are all processed pictures. Processed in Lightroom, no Photoshop or “special” textures were applied. Simple Lightroom effects. The trip to the Mennonite Heritage Village is really worth it, give it a try on Highway 12 just inside Steinbach, Manitoba.

Until next time…