Little Log House Show Captivates Young and Old
Little Log House show in Hastings, Minn., offers unique setting for old iron
Sylvia Bauer's gardens make a beautiful accent to the Little Log House show. Covering 40,000 square feet, the gardens include two large ponds, a water wheel and restored buildings.
Photo By Leslie C. McManus
out the barrel! We’ve got the blues on the run!” A dance hall band performing
on an outside stage sets the tone at the Little Log House Antique Power Show in
July. From one end of the beautifully manicured grounds to the other, the
prevailing mood is that of an enormous party where the guests just happen to
bring their favorite collectible – tractors, engines, cars, you name it – along
with them. A worker at a concession stand sums it up neatly. “If you can’t have
fun,” he says with a mock stern expression, “you can’t have fun.”
by Steve and Sylvia Bauer, Hastings, Minn., Little Log House Pioneer Village offers a unique
look at authentically restored historical artifacts of southern Minnesota. Fifty
buildings have been salvaged and moved to the grounds; most have been furnished
with period relics in a very professional manner. Friendly volunteers offer
insights to local history and rural traditions.
in a quiet pocket, Sylvia’s Garden offers a peaceful diversion from the hubbub
of the show. Covering more than 40,000 square feet, the garden boasts countless
flowers and shrubs, two ponds, a working waterwheel, brick paths and arbors.
For three days each summer – the only time each year that the village is open
to the public – that backdrop of local history and natural beauty sets the
stage for a show celebrating traditional farm practices.
started, as all collections do, innocently enough. As Steve Bauer helped a
neighbor demolish an old house near Hastings,
under the siding he discovered logs dating to 1856. Demolition work stopped;
preservation began. Steve moved the structure to his farm, and he and Sylvia
launched a full restoration.
year later, on a Sunday afternoon in 1988, the Bauers hosted a threshing bee
near the little log house for family and friends. Over time, the event exploded
into a three-day show – the Little Log House Antique Power Show – with visitors
from every corner of the U.S.
in addition to that little log house, visitors roam through an engine shed,
schoolhouse, print shop, millinery and dress shop, jail, telephone building,
U.S. Land Office, general store, butcher shop, church, freight house, Ford
garage, train depot, implement and car dealerships, 1960s diner and more. A
working rock quarry, a replica of a very unusual spiral bridge and a dirt track
for truck and tractor pulls more than round out the offering. Want more?
There’s a car show, historic re-enactments, crafts demonstrations, a military
display, threshing, well drilling, shingle branding, parades and live music.
The guy at the burger stand knew what he was talking about. If you can’t have
fun here, you probably can’t have fun anywhere.
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