(Top) The seed cleaner loaded on the trailer and ready for moving. (Above) The original Sunset Seed building

Creston Museum home to Sunset Seed cleaner

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With a lot of help in the form of forklifts and forklift drivers from Wynndel Box and Lumber and Home Building Centre, the original seed cleaner from Sunset Seed has now made its way to the Creston Museum.

The seed cleaner, which can clean any type of grain, was installed in the Sunset Seed building on Cook Street in 1939, when the company began harvesting and shipping its crops of seed and soup peas off the Creston flats. In 1963, due to declining crop yields, soil exhaustion, and increased competition, the last seed peas were harvested in Creston. The seed cleaner was removed from the Sunset Seed building, and eventually wound up in the old potato shed in Wynndel, owned by the Wigen family of Wynndel Box and Lumber.

The wooden seed cleaner was offered to the museum earlier this summer. Thanks to the construction of a new storage shed, funded in part by the Columbia-Kootenay Cultural Alliance, the museum now has a place to keep it, and the cleaner was moved in on Oct. 6.

An exhibit on the seed pea industry will be created around the seed cleaner, and will include the pea sorters that also came out of Sunset Seed, which have been in the Museum’s collection for many years. Since the Sunset Seed building burned down in December 2008, these objects, and a few photographs in the museum’s collection, are the only publicly-accessible reminders of the local seed pea industry.

The seed pea exhibit will be one of four exhibits in the new shed, all relating to the agricultural industries of the Creston flats. Other displays will focus on haying, grain growing and the grain elevators, and will feature a 1942 Massey-Harris combine — the Creston Valley’s first self-propelled combine — donated to the museum in 2004.

— CRESTON MUSEUM

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