4375 W. Oregon Road Lapeer, Michigan 48446
On August 4, 1973 the annual day for thrashing and sawmilling was held on the Robert Nelson Farm, 5 miles west of Lapeer, Michigan.
The weather was just right, Just a sunny warm summer day.
To back up a bit, the Nelsons and there are 3 of them, Grandfather, Son and Grandson, all interested in steam and related subjects, purchased a Red River Special Thrasher, Port Huron-19 h.p. Steam Traction Engine and a 8 ft. Cut Grain Binder, equipped for power take-off.
The Grandson who is just 12 years old completely rebuilt and painted the grain binder while Grandpa and Dad, along with help of many neighbors and friends put the separator and engine up into working order.
The binder did a good job of cutting and binding wheat. 12 year old Bob drove the tractor and his Dad operated the binder. Neither of these people had done any grain binding before. It was a great experience for them.
After the wheat bundles stood in the stocks until dry, they were loaded on wagons and stored inside because the weather in Michigan has not been to dependable for thrashing on a 'certain day' out of the field.
The events of the day went off as planned. The Lapeer County Sherriff's posse did a fine job directing traffic and parking cars. The Lapeer County Historical Society also did a fine job in the handling of the registrations.
Power for thrashing and the sawmill was furnished by Nelson's Port Huron Engine, Nelson Scotts Port Huron Engine and by Mr. Scott's Baker Tractor. Leon Knight's 28-50 Hart Parr Tractor had its turn on the thrasher too. Mr. Scott also exhibited an 8-16 International Tractor and an 18-30 Oil Pull tractor. Peter Pierson had his early Model John Deere Tractor on exhibit.
Mark MCarty had his 1/2 size steam engine in the show too. Mark's engine tried and did a pretty good job on his 'Baker' Fan.
Harold Running did a fine job of showing his 1/4 scale steam engine. It is a free lance engine that was built by him.
Several people brought gasoline engines, antique automobiles and tools that were used by their forefathers.
The sawing of lumber seemed to fascinate the younger people. They could see the big saw sawing its way through the log and after edging, a square board would be made from a round log, while with the grain separator, the bundles disappeared in the feeder, the straw came out the blower and the grain in the wagon. With this operation they just had to imagine what happened inside the machine.
Horace and Kenyon Davis displayed their drag saw. Bud Robinson was the 'official' separator man, and all around handy man. He helped line up the several tractors to the thrasher and also had his turn at firing and operating our Port Huron Engine. Bud also brought his gas engine and old time Burr Feed Grinder along.
Bill Leach and Pete Pierson were busy fellows too. Pete was the engineer on Nelson Scott's Engine, while Bill helped me with my engine while I operated the sawmill.
Ronald Mayer and Charles Setter had their teams and wagons on display. The 'small fry' really enjoyed riding in the wagons.
A chicken dinner was enjoyed by the 'Help'. Many thanks to all that made this show possible. The Good Lord willing, we will have another Thrashing Day August 3, 1974.