R.R. #13, Box 209, Brazil, Indiana 47834
Today we are able to visit area shows where some of these engines are in the same locality as they were 50 years ago.
I enjoy visiting 'new' shows (shows I have never attended), and this year I was able to visit the 13th annual Twenty Lakes Engine and Tractor Club, Inc. Show at Harrison, Michigan. Harrison is located right in the middle of the lower part of Michigan and, as the show was held on June 20-22, 1997, the weather was very pleasant. The club owns a large show grounds west of Harrison which has a large sawmill and sawmill shed located on the property.
It did not take long for me to find some 'steam men.' I met Dale Sonke of Rockford, Michigan, who had his newly restored 6 HP Peerless 'F' at the show. The steam engine is serial #9341, was built from 1900-1910, and carried 100 lbs. of steam. It was certainly easy to tell that Dale had spent many hours restoring and painting the Peerless.
I was surprised to find another 6 HP Peerless 'F' at the show which belonged to Ralph Johnson. Both of these engines were identical, except Ralph's engine was newer as it was serial #13120.
The sawdust was kept flying at the sawmill, as a 20 HP Minneapolis provided the flywheel power. The engine, which is serial #8619, is owned by George Moss of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan; his son Mike was running the engine. It was a pleasure to meet George and Mike, as I meet few Minneapolis steam men compared to the admirers of Case and other makes of steam engines.
A Frick 9 x 10, serial #15614, owned by Gilbert Shrock of Lake, Michigan, was at the show, as was a 1913 24 HP Port Huron compound owned by Ron, Doug and Terry Scott.
The club demonstrated shingle making with a shingle mill and also had a good display of stationary steam engines which were powered by a Scotch boiler. The show had a good sized flea market which carried a variety of items. Camping is available five miles away at Wilson State Park, and there are seven motels in Harrison.
One small criticism I have for the club, which is applicable to any show which advertises and lists a person to contact for more information, is to make sure that the person will be available to provide information. The person who was the contact phone number for this show was in Florida until show time. A few people who sought information about the show probably decided not to attend.
To close on a positive note, I would recommend a visit to this show to anyone who lives or vacations in Michigan. You will get to meet some Michigan steam men and Michigan steam engines.