Greenridge Steam and Gas Antique Show At Irwin, Iowa

Howard Mickelson

Content Tools

RR1, Box 75, Kirkman .Iowa 51447

The 14th annual Greenridge Steam and Gas Antique Show was held September 15th and 16th, 1990, three and one-half miles southwest of Irwin, Iowa. It is now history. We were blessed with perfect weather-bright blue skies, warm temperatures, and just a light breeze.

A large crowd turned out for our show, with numerous campers coming for the weekend. Many exhibitors and parade entrants were on hand. Everyone seemed to be all set for a good time, and it spurred us on to provide the fun.

The 65 HP Case steam engine owned by the club led the parade each day with flags flying in front. Our son, Danny Mickelson, was the engineer. He has been working hard to learn to run this 'monster' and has been doing a fine job. With help from Dave Jensen, they threshed two loads of oats each day. This is always a big attraction.

Howard Mickelson with his grandchildren-left: Tabitha Ahrenholtz, Casie Jo, Dani Dee and Kristopher Mickelson. They love the Steam Show, too!

Howard Mickelson's 50 HP Case steam engine was belted up to a 52' 1902 Model Aultman-Taylor sawmill owned by Don Ferry. They sawed a lot of logs in the two day show. We also have wood planing and corn shelling with a 4-hole Sandwich Spring Sheller. A two-horse tread mill owned by Bob McLaren, powered by horse teams owned by Gaylord Heilesen and Arlo Petersen, shelled and ground corn.

Richard Wooster owns the stone burr grist mill and powers it with an F12 IHC. He grinds both wheat flour and cornmeal which is for sale during the show. An old-time blacksmith shop is worked continually both days by Steve Nelson and Bob Hansen. This is always a popular exhibit. Our club purchased the rock crusher from the Albert Eschleman show when he retired some years ago. This is not only interesting to watch, but is useful in supplying rock in places where we need it on the show grounds.

Many old and interesting tractors, gas engines, scale model engines, etc. were brought in. I'm always amazed at the ingenuity of these men. We even had a cottonpicker brought from Avoca!

Howard Mickelson built a VS-scale model Rumely steam engine several years ago. He had fun belting it up to the cordwood saw blade, the planer, and even the sheller. This year was the first time he had the gears put in to make it a traction engine so it was able to be in the paradequite eyecatching!

For the ladies we have crafts in the century-old farmhouse and a flea market and more crafts in the large steel building. An outdoor kitchen was built several years ago which gives us lots of room to serve sandwiches, homemade pies, bars, and of course, coffee, tea, and pop. Sunday morning the men cook and serve a big breakfast at 7:00 a.m. to the early risers. Church services are held at 8:00 a.m. with local ministers taking turns each year bringing the message to us. The service also features gospel music.

This was the first year we did not cook sorghum at the show. There were many disappointed people who were looking forward to getting their winter supply of sorghum. Cane seed was planted but, because of rain and cold temperatures last spring, the seed did not grow. We are hoping for better luck next year. The long brick oven does not go to waste, as the club has a grate for it. Several times during the year we have cookouts on the grounds and use that as a grill for meat.

Howard Mickelson of Kirkman, Iowa is shown here with his half-scale Rumely steam engine, which he built from 'scratch' over the past five years. He is 75 years old and has loved steam engines since he was five years old. His dad owned one and let him 'help' work on it, and so he learned about them very early in life. The photo was submitted by his wife, Dolores, who is very proud of his accomplishment.

We feel fortunate to have Howard and Marianne Clark in charge of entertainment. They are members of a music group called 'Country Roads' and have contacts with many musicians in southwest Iowa. The Clarks have continuous music lined up for both days. A fine Saturday night country music program is always held which everyone enjoys. They also provide gospel music for our Sunday services.

There are many activities for the children. Fred Nelson has a Pedal Power Tractor Pull and Connie Jensen lines up children's games. The horses are put to good use as they are used to pull a stagecoach, a school bus, a buckboard wagon, and to give hayrides.

Stan and Paulette Wohlenhaus come to us each year from Indianola, Iowa to practice the old art of broom making and crocheting rag rugs. They are associated with Living History Farms in Des Moines.

There are many jobs for everyone to do in putting on a show like this. Each and every person is appreciated and very necessary. We look back on the 1990 show with thanks to our Good Lord for the beautiful weather (so important to an outdoor event of this kind), and to all the people who supported us by their attendance. They make it all worthwhile.

Currently we are busy making plans for next year's show. Come and join us for a fun weekend September 21 and 22, 1991.