OZARK Steam Engine Association

Joe Hardin's vertical shingle mill

Content Tools

2339 S. Fort Springfield, Missouri 65807-2301

Our show is not the biggest, but we feel that we put on a very good show for the public to learn about how our forefathers had to work hard for what they got.

Our club started about 1961, or 1962. At the present time there are about 12 of the larger steam tractors and several scale model engines of several makes and sizes. We have a very large boiler that runs a hundred horsepower Brownwell engine. In that building there is a steam electric generating plant that was used in Mountain Home, Arkansas, to provide electricity for the city. There are two hoisting engines that were used to lift material off rail flat cars in Branson, Missouri, when Empire District Electric built Power site Dam on the White River at Forsyth, Missouri, from 1910 to 1912. They lifted the material off the flat cars, swung around to the barges on the river, and used a small tug boat to take them down stream to where the hydroelectric plant was being built. Then the tug boat would bring the empties back and get loaded barges to return.

Joe Hardin's vertical shingle mill. This mill is very rare, since most shingle mills are horizontal. Joe found this mill in a barn that was not in use, and was able to acquire and rebuild it. The six horsepower Russell handles it very well. The mill was stationary, but is now mounted for easy transportation.

Joe Hardin, of Caulfield, Missouri, with a recently restored and rebuilt Russell. Joe found this engine in central Kansas as a portable, brought it to his shop, and converted it to a traction engine. It is very smooth and quiet.

These two engines had not been used since the dam was completed. The engines and equipment were kept in a building that had to be torn down to get them out. Our club members moved the engines to our show location in 1990-91.

We have two parades daily during the show, which is held ten days after Labor Day each year since 1962. It is held in conjunction with EDGE&TA Branch 16. In 1993, there were about 368 small gas engines, 130 gas and a few diesel tractors. We have a few flea market operators, a kiddies tractor pull, rock crushing, threshing, baling, and a sawmill. The show is climaxed with a tractor pull on Saturday night with 1938 (and older) tractors. Also there are a lot of scale model steam and gas tractors, related equipment, antique cars, and trucks.

The show is located eight miles west of Springfield, Missouri, on Highways 60 and 13. Springfield is the home of the Bass Pro Shops, which are advertised as the largest sporting goods, and marine equipment stores in the States. Springfield is 38 miles north of Branson, Missouri. Branson is in the heart of the Ozark Mountains, which affords beautiful scenery, more music theaters than anywhere, and lots and lots of motels and shops to take your money. There are lakes on both sides of Branson, and it is 25 miles north of Eureka Springs, Arkansas, the 'Little Switzerland of America.'

So, all of you good folks out in Engine and, get in touch with a tour bus in the area. Come to the Ozarks, see our steam and gas show 10 days after Labor Day, see the Bass Pro Shops, and take in a Branson show or shows. The natives are real friendly. We have a 12 acre parking lot, lots of shade, camping space but no hook-ups.