History by Edgar Corbiere
Founder (1999) and Honorary Director
I was driving to St. Paul one day and met a convoy of 6 beautiful covered wagons being pulled by horses with flashy harnesses, something to be proud of.
For some reason, it sparked a vision of what it would be like using horse drawn equipment to make hay. I approached the wagoneers thinking we could have a fun weekend, making hay like in the 30's. But after reconsidering, I thought why not do it for cancer victims undergoing treatment. They all agreed and thought it was a great idea...this was in 1999.
Then equipment came into the picture, machinery that had been put away for many years now needed repairs to make them functional. Now, where do we make hay? I contacted the County field man, we checked a few spots but none were to my liking. So, I approached a local farmer that had a hayfield that was very handy and convenient. I made a deal with him and borrowed his hayfield for making hay. We also introduced road construction of the past.
Our first year was to me very successful, $3500.00 was raised. Twelve (12) victims of cancer were the recipients of our efforts. In 2001, I then approached the County for an 80 acre parcel, and they agreed. A lease was drawn up as long as we wished to make use for this cause, at no cost.
A Board was formed with a President, Secretary, Treasurer and five (5) Directors. Now came the time that we registered our Society and it was christened "Haying in the 30's Cancer Support Society". We could now issue valid receipts for tax purposes. We needed some sort of shelter. A frame structure was erected and covered with a large tarp, which was used and was very handy for serving food, etc. A lake camp kitchen was given to us by the County and a cement pad for our tent was also added.
A well was dug for our use. More attractions were introduced, crop for a fall harvesting, threshing machine, binding, and stooking, etc. A hay press, hay elevator and stook elevator. Some highlights included a sawmill, shingle mill, wood splitter and well boring. A large viewing zoo was also on display and managed by youngsters and parents. Other features included a pony merry-go-round, horseshoeing, sheep sheering and oxen in harness. The ladies play a big part in making our event a great success; looking and taking care of the food department, bazaar, receiving and processing of all donations. A pig was roasted in our ground pit and served to please our growing attendance. In addition to our attractions, there have been two days of continual entertainment, a Saturday night hoe-down, and a Sunday inter-faith service.