Highland Historical Society Homestead Power Show

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Shane Reinneck of Freeburg, Illinois operates Grandpa Gordon Kemper's Keck-Gonnerman 19 HP single side mount engine, SN# 1843, at the Highland Historical Society Homestead Power Show. The engine is running a sawmill.
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Joe Kehrer of New Menphis, Illinois, owns this beautifully restored 1921 20 HP single side mount Keck-Gonnerman, SN# 1627.
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Steam plowing is a common sight at the Highland Show. Here Bill Jansen and son of Dieterich, Illinois are plowing with their 24 HP Minneapolis, SN# 8496.
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Jim Russell of Oblong, Illinois also has his 20 HP Advance engine, SN# 8138, on the sawmill at Highland.
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The Keck-Gonnerman Company nameplate.
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Another view of Grandpa Kemper's Keck-Gonnerman engine.

Many of us have driven hundred of miles to a steam show. We have
seen several different steam engines at the show, but were
disappointed that most of the engine were ‘smokers.’
‘Smokers’ are engines that are run for the parade and
nothing else.

The Highland Historical Society Homestead Power Show, which is located 30 miles east of St
Louis, Missouri, has a ‘no smokers’ policy. This show keeps
steam engines busy on the sawmill, threshing, rock crushing, and
plowing. Visiting engineers come from Tennessee, Kentucky,
Indiana, Missouri, and even Oklahoma.

The show has a good variety of steam engines and is adding steam
engines each year. You may wonder how a smaller show like Highland
can add engines each year.

The secret is Joe Graziana. Joe, who helped found the Highland
show, is very active in the steam hobby. He is an instructor for
the Pawnee Steam School, and completely rebuilds many steam
governors each year.

Joe encourages anyone wishing to buy a steam engine. He will go
with them to look over an engine and ultrasound the boiler. After
the engine is purchased, Joe helps with advice and technical
support. This support can be anything from rebuilding a governor or
crosshead pump to pouring new babbitt bearings.

A few years ago, Joe Kehrer of New Memphis, Illinois, went to
Joe Graziana and asked for assistance in choosing a good first
steam engine. Joe Kehrer now has a Keck-Gonnerman and a Gaar-Scott
engine. Both engines are mechanically and cosmetically restored.
These engines are a wonderful addition to the Highland show.

Joe Graziana can sometimes be persuaded to operate engines other
than Keck-Gonnerman or Harrison ‘Jumbo.’ Joe is wearing a
‘hillbilly’ hat, but we know his Italian temperament would
prevent him from being a laid-back easygoing
‘hillbilly.’

Most of us are familiar with the decal used on Case engines.
This is a Keck-Gonnerman decal which pictures a prosperous
thresherman’s home which is actually the Mt. Vernon home of
George Washington. Our good friend Tommy Lee of Calhoun, Kentucky,
hopes to win the lottery and build a ‘correctional
facility’ for all Keck-Gonnerman steam engines.

The sawmill at Highland keeps a skid full of logs and each steam
engine has a turn on the mill.

The Highland Historical Society/Homestead Power Show will be
held on September 14-16, 2001. The show is located 2 1/2 miles south
of Highland, Illinois, on State Road 160.

Come and enjoy a good steam show. FC

Farm Collector Magazine
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Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment