Gossips Wheel

Picture is Amy Nelson (left) and Jean Jungst spinning on ''Gossips Wheel''.

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8237 Russell Ave. S.. Minneapolis, Minn. 55431

In the mid-west area many people have lots of fun in the summer time attending the old time 'Threshing Bees' like the one my family is involved with at Rollag, Minnesota, a small town 30 miles south-east of Moorhead, Minnesota.

The Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion (WMSTR) is a fine group of people responsible for putting on the largest show in Minnesota for 4 days every Labor Day weekend. The association owns 80 acres of land, partly covered with beautiful oak trees which provide shade for the buildings, and the many activities which are going on all day long.

An authentic blacksmith shop has been built by my husband, Ed, and his friends. It houses perhaps the largest collection of blacksmithing tools and equipment to be found anywhere. Everything is fully operating and it's quite a sight to see all those belts and pulleys being driven by the steam engine. Each day during the show a wheel-wrighting demonstration is held in front of the shop, and normally 3 or 4 wheels are constructed during the 4 day event.

Many steam engines, antique automobiles, gas engines, agricultural equipment and antiques are on display and twice daily there's a parade of the machinery around the grounds. It's a wonderful experience to see and hear the 'old giants' chugging along once again.

Each day the grain is threshed just as it was in the old days, and afterwards the children have a great time jumping into the big straw piles.

For the ladies we have spinning demonstrations, soap, candle and cider making, and a quilt you can sit and sew at, while you visit with friends and rest your feet at the same time.

Come early and stay late! The Ladies Aides from the various churches in the area put on some fine meals, beginning with a 'Threshermen's breakfast' at 6 o'clock in the morning. In the evenings you will be entertained by members and friends with their fiddles, harmonicas, banjos and guitars.

I hope many of you will try to come and see the show at Rollag this Labor Day weekend, and if you do - be sure and say 'hello' to Ed at the blacksmith shop, and myself at the spinning wheel.