WHERE IS GRANITE, IOWA?

Mark Joenks
January/February 1992
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R.R. Greenville, Iowa 51343

Where is Granite, Iowa? While looking at an Iowa map, place a finger where Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota meet, then it will be touching Granite.

The Granite Threshing Bee is held where the town of Granite was located. Granite was once a small railroad town, but today only a few houses remain. Since 1985, Granite has been resurrected for one weekend a year. The threshing bee makes the town live again as a place to gather and make fascinating new acquaintances.

July 13, 1991How to get the engine to the show?

Normally held during the third weekend in July, the 1991 Granite Threshing Bee began sooner than usual. The Saturday before the show, Dick Burd and his family transported friends and guests fifteen miles from their home northwest of Canton, South Dakota to Granite, Iowa. This was accomplished by pulling benches on racks with an 18 HP Avery under-mounted steam engine. The endeavor began about 9:00 a.m. and ended around 6:00 p.m. The engine didn't go alone on the trip. Besides all 35 passengers, there was a support crew waiting every few miles with reinforcements of water and coal. Other helpers shuttled passengers to the procession and back to their cars. Around noon, lunch was catered by a Sioux Falls grocery store.

After the trip, everyone believed that they had had a terrific time. Since the event was so enjoyable, it brings to mind a question. Will there be a second annual Great Granite Steam Drive? According to rumor, the answer seems positive.

July 20-21, 1991The Granite Threshing Bee.

The show began with the singing of the National Anthem. Going west down Granite's Main Street, brought into sight the information booth and the announcer's stand next to the Opera House. Further along were the refreshments and ice cream booths. To the south was the flea market. To the north of Main Street was the big tent where the spectators could escape the July sun. Beyond the tent were the exhibitors.

There was a wide variety of exhibits at the show. Granite was graced with the area John Deere Two Cylinder Club. On the north side of the tent was a torn apart Ford Model 'T'. The car lay in pieces until eleven o'clock, when its assembly began. Then at 11:07, the car was finished, started, and driven. There were other antique car and tractor exhibits. Also, a miniature farm was displayed. Gas engines were shown too. A half scale steam engine was there cutting wood for next year. Of course, the show wouldn't be complete without threshers and the big steam engine.

Saturday night, there was an RSVP dinner. Dick & Lee Burd were thanked for their steam trek by the presentation of special T-shirts. The shirts displayed a picture of an Avery engine with the caption, 'The Burds took me for a ride...to the Granite Threshing Bee.' Later, the guests were entertained by local singers. Sunday at the show was just as nice. The weather was hot but not as sweltering as the previous day.

The Granite show is probably the largest free-admission threshing bee in northwest Iowa or the surrounding areas. There isn't any reason to miss this festive even taudits, court dates, and weddings being exempted. Therefore, plan to attend the next Granite Threshing Bee.


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