Art and Crystal Andersens 10th Annual Steam-Gas & Diesel Museum Show

Case engine

This is Art Andersen's 25 HP Case engine belted to a 36 inch Red River Special Separator. Vernon Smith was the engineer.

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1511 Iglehart Ave., St. Paul, Minn. 55104

August 23rd and 24th, 1975 were the show dates, and the place was the Andersen Farm and Museum located one mile east of Blooming Prairie, Minnesota on Highway 30.

The show site is ideal. A paved road extends from the entrance well past the Museum Exhibit buildings and it is the borderline of a vast acreage of level grass land used for pasturing livestock, but at show time, it is an expanse of interesting activity. Outside of the show area is parking space for hundreds of cars.

When my wife, Florence, and I arrived at the show about 11 o'clock on Saturday, August 23rd, lumber sawing was in progress. The saw is a large one; 'A Man Rides The Carriage' as they used to say. It's the type of machine that sawed logs into lumber in the old days for the building of houses and all farm buildings for the early settlers.

At that moment, Andersen's 25-75 Russell Steamer was powering the saw through some big logs. George H. Ohmann, Jr. was the engineer. This Russell is a beautiful running engine.

Another engine used on the lumber saw, was Art Andersen's 140 HP 1913 Steam Engine. It weighs 27-1/2 tons. It is a double cylinder engine of tremendous proportion. It rests on six-foot drive wheels that measure 42 inches in width. Purchased in Michigan and hauled on a stout Low-Boy to the Andersen Musem, it's Art's 'Pride and Joy'.

When I saw the engine in action, Lloyd Hinker of Woonsocket, South Dakota was the engineer.

Other steam engines owned by the Andersen's are a 24-74 Minneapolis, a 25-75 Case, and a 19-65 Port Huron. They have several small engines including 2 upright steamers, one is one HP; the other, four HP and two popcorn engines. A four or five HP model Case Traction Engine was operating a Model Case Thresher, threshing oats. Leonard Casper of Claremont, Minnesota was the engineer.

Threshing was carried on both days with two complete outfits in operation in the afternoon. Engineer John Hals of Stewartville, Minnesota was operating a 25 HP direct flue Minneapolis engine belted to a 36 inch Minneapolis Separator. This Minneapolis Threshing Machine is constructed of wood, built in 1908. The machine is in fine condition and well painted. 'The Great Minneapolis Line' is printed in factory letters on the galvanized blower pipe. Also on the blower is the 'Farmer's Friend Wind Stacker' sign featuring a picture of a happy old farmer. Of course, we see this sign on other makes of threshers, but most of them were built ten or fifteen years later than this one.

The other outfit threshing oats was a fine conditioned Red River Special Separator belted to a 25 HP Case Engine. Engineer Vernon Smith was in charge of this one.

Steam and Tractor Plowing was demonstrated in a nearby field. Horse Plowing was another feature both days. Shingle Making and Feed Grinding was demonstrated. Bruce Peterson of Free-born, Minnesota was busy sawing lathe. Cord-wood sawing was done by horse-power.

Fifty or more gas engines were on display, most of them running. At least fifty gas and oil tractors of all sizes and makes, also some old 'Cat' Tractors are in the collection. A Reaper and one of the first horse-drawn corn planters built, horse-drawn grain drills, balers, binders, combines, mowers and cultivators, gang, sulky and walking plows, old wagons, and sleighs is by no means a complete list of the antique machinery.  

Bill Hamm of Rochester, Minnesota had antiques at the show. At the Museum, Art has what he calls his small museum. Butter churns, an apple press, a broom maker, coffee mill and baby buggies along with dozens of other antiques. The Musem Buildings are loaded with antiques including a 'Reward For Murder' poster offering $50,000 for the killer of President Abraham Lincoln. Art bought it at an auction.

Among the horse-drawn vehicles is a Standard Oil tank wagon and two coaches. The coaches were being used giving rides to people. One of these was drawn by a team of horses; the other was a Wells Fargo Stage Coach drawn by a team of sorrel mules 7 and 8 years old. Henry Branderhorst assisted by his son, Dale, were the drivers.

At 3 o'clock each day, Art headed the parade with his 19-65 HP Port Huron Steam Engine.

A country school house moved to the farm and a blacksmith shop where horseshoes were being made, attracted interested people. Music, always an attraction, was provided by a band on a flat topped hay wagon.

Antique cars included a Model T Ford Coupe, a Ford Truck and a Stanley Steamer.

A helicopter took people up for rides during the show. Refreshment stands served food including Bar-B-Cue Chicken.

Art told me the Museum draws a large tourist trade. One month, in particular, during the tourist season, they sold ten thousand tickets to people from nineteen states.

Purebred Sorrel Percheron horses are raised on the farm, and part of the work on the 180 acre farm is done by horsepower. Art is a harness-racing fan and he attends races at County Fairs when the season is on. The Andersen's receive requests from County Fairs asking them to exhibit machinery and other antiques.

At one time, Art demonstrated Lumber Sawing at a County Fair. The Steam Traction Engine and Sawing attracted people away from buying tickets for the grandstand to such an extent, that the Fair Board asked him to discontinue the sawing.

The Andersen's are looking forward to taking part in Farm Fest USA when it is held in Southern Minnesota in 1976.