Dumpdiggers explore the Kawartha Lakes
A trip north of the #7 Hwy in
Some farm driveways feature unusual signage selling home cooked meals, fresh sweet corn, wild blueberries and straw bales. There’s a lot to read, including the names of the local children painted on the pink granite rock cuts, and signposts crowded with surnames on cottage roads.
The land is owned by the local Crowe Valley Conservation Authority and they are poor so of course there are no camping facilities, and you'll find only the barest trails here on which there are no picnic tables, no BBQ huts, and no garbage cans or handrails; the place is very natural and a little dangerous.
In several spots wild raspberry bushes crowd the path, their thorny brambles deterring any deviation from the trail. Late July / early August will taste a record crop of wild red and black raspberries this year for it has been wet in
Dumpdiggers appreciate the entropy that’s visible from the road in any excursion north of
Here’s a 1936 McCormick Deering ‘All Steel’ Mechanical Thresher. This machine separates the wheat from the chaff during the harvest. The belt drive was propelled by the Power Take Off at the side or rear of the farm tractor - these two innovations made it possible for small groups of people, the farm families, to work twice as much land as their ancestors, and put 2x more oats in their granaries, so they could feed 2x more livestock.
Cyrus McCormack patented the world’s first threshing machine in 1834. The first McCormick factory opened in 1847. If you read the company history you’ll note that Cyrus McCormack initiated a patent infringement lawsuit against the Manny Company of
For McCormack it didn’t matter anyway - over the next twenty years, the family business boomed until The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 destroyed the entire factory and the McCormicks' homes. But even then their manufacturing businesses quickly recovered. After several short term contracts split the business between the McCormick brothers, the whole operation was reformed in 1879 as the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company which is of course the predecessor of International Harvester Inc. and Case IH Corporation.
Rummaging around in the pastoral roadside dumps did produce some interesting tidbits and minor prizes and pieces of larger puzzles...
Here's a nice dark olive glass Hemingway insulator that’s as common as dirt, but there are some interesting mold marks on the reverse - even the most common insulators have character up here, north of the number seven.
But the best discovery on the whole trip was this blue enameled steel two quart water pitcher – slightly rusted around the handle with one minor bruise along the base. Experts tell me this is the signature color of Eaton’s Catalog enamelware from the 1960s. It might have been connected with one of the first properties in the area and might herald from a time when The Gut was portaged by men carrying canoes.