Port Huron engine

Art Andersen stands on the deck of his 20 HP Port Huron engine ready to lead the parade at the 1976 Andersen Steam-Gas Museum Show.

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1511 Iglehart, St. Paul, Minn. 55104.

August 28th and 29th, 1976 were the dates of the Andersen show. The site of the show was the Andersen Farm and Museum located about a mile east of Blooming Prairie, Minnesota on Highway 30.

From the parking lot where there seems to be no limit of parking space, the visitor passes through the gate entering an expanse of giantic, interesting activity.

No doubt, the highlight of the show is the 140 HP traction engine usually belted to. the large size lumber saw. George H. Ohmann, Jr. was the engineer. This engine, purchased in Michigan by Art Andersen is a double cylinder engine, built in 1913 by the M. Rumely Company of LaPorte, Indiana. It is of gigantic proportions weighing 27 tons. It rests on six-foot drive wheels measuring forty-two inches in width. Needless to say, this engine is Art Andersen's pride and joy. It was on exhibition at the Farm Fest, USA, which was held the week of September 12,1976 at Lake Crystal, Minnesota.

Other engines at the Andersen show were a 60 HP Reeves double cylinder, operated by engineers Smoky and Joe Cross. It was belted to a Belle City thresher. Another engine was the 25 HP Russell; Jared Ruble was the engineer.

Art Anderson led the parade both afternoons at 3 o'clock with his 20 HP Port Huron. Buell Opdahl, Emmons, Minnesota, was the engineer on the 75 HP Case. Engineer John Hale of Stewartville, Minnesota was in charge of the 24 HP Minneapolis operating the 1908 wooden Minneapolis separator, threshing oats.

A fine under mounted Avery traction engine, I do not know the scale, but it could be half-size, owned by John Hale, was operated by engineer Lyle Sundry. This engine was built by the late H. W. Christgau of Grand Meadow, Minnesota. Mr. Christgau built several models of steam traction engines. He is well-remembered as a master craftsman in that field.

A model Case thresher operated by a model steam traction engine was threshing divided oat bundles. Along with the lumber sawing and threshing, plowing was demonstrated in a nearby field.

Fine sorrel Percheron horses raised at the Anderson farm were hitched to a gang plow giving a demonstration of plowing as it was done before tractors came into use. Plowing with steam and gas tractors was demonstrated. Lathe and shingle sawing and blacksmithing received curious attention. Bruce Peterson sawed lathe. Practically every horse-drawn machine including reapers, self binders, cultivators, wagons, sleighs, mowers and a wood-wheeled corn planter, hay rakes, hay tedders and hay loaders, etc. by no means describes the list of machines used in times gone by, all to be found in the Andersen collection.

Over fifty gas and oil tractors of all sizes including an Oil Pull and a 35-70 Minneapolis, a large number of small gas engines and several small steam engines, including a small scale model traction engine, comprise a list of items at the show and museum, but it is far from complete.

Other than the undermounted Avery tractor and a crawler tractor, all rolling units, and all items at the museum are the property of Art and Crystal Andersen, representing many years of accumulation.

A Wells Fargo stage coach drawn by a fine team of sorrel mules gave rides to youngsters and young oldsters. Henry Nolte of Rochester, Minnesota was the driver. Also giving rides, was Mr. Dillavou driving a pair of sorrel percheron mares hitched to a Civil War ambulance.

A fine attraction was a team of llamas owned and driven by Irvin Nelson of St. Peter, Minnesota. They were hitched to a light vehicle commonly used in English horse shows.

Mr. Andersen told me that receipts from the tourist trade run far in excess of the paid admission received annually at the shows. In a recent season, people from nineteen states registered at the museum.

Refreshment stands selling food including barbecue chicken, music from a dance band and shady places to eat or to recline for just plain 'visitin' all added to the comfort of visitors at the show.

The Andersens consider the show successful. So this husband and wife team along with their children and grandchildren are looking forward to meeting you at a great show in 1977.