Eastern Washington Harvest
By Roy Conrad Derring
Back in the early 1900’s my father, Conrad Derring, told me that he and a few of his ‘Gums’ would travel up to those wheat fields to help out during harvest time for several years to what was referred as a ‘hoedown’. This was a time when horse drawn harvesters were used in the fields. One particular instance, my father with gloves on, got his fingers caught in one of the machines that hoisted either wheat or hay up to either a barn loft or silo. I can't remember exactly which was the case. Nevertheless, it raised him up off the ground about ten feet or so before the operator of the machinery lowered him back down to the ground. Fortunately he had gloves on and ended up with two broken fingers. It could have been a lot worse. So it just goes to show that young Volga Germans here in Portland participated in the wheat harvests of those Volga German wheat farming areas of Eastern Washington.
Written by and used with the permission of Roy Conrad Derring, Portland, Oregon (January 2015)
Last updated November 12, 2016.