Little Log House Show Captivates Young and Old

Little Log House show in Hastings, Minn., offers unique setting for old iron

| January 2013

  • Case 80
    Engineer Daniel Wyman, Carver, Minn., at the controls of a half-scale Case 80 hp steam engine owned by Kevin Poncelet, Zumbrota, Minn.
    Photo By Leslie C. McManus
  • Log House Show
    Sylvia Bauer's gardens make a beautiful accent to the Little Log House show. Covering 40,000 square feet, the gardens include two large ponds, a water wheel and restored buildings.
    Photo By Leslie C. McManus
  • Pioneer Rock Crusher
    The Little Log House rock quarry. In the foreground, a Pioneer rock crusher; behind it, an Austin-Western. Both crushers date to the 1940s.
    Photo By Leslie C. McManus
  • Elevator
    This elevator dates to 1938, when it was built on a local farm owned by Ole Floan, Wanamingo, Minn. Ole cut all of the wood for the elevator using his own sawmill. The elevator remained in use until 1995, when Steve Bauer bought it for the Little Log House collection.
    Photo By Leslie C. McManus
  • Bench Grinders
    A selection of bench grinders from Walt's collection.
    Photo By Leslie C. McManus
  • Ford Cars
    Ford cars and trucks were featured at the Little Log House car show. Here, a 1989 Mustang LX convertible owned by Sue Markgraf, Lake Elmo, Minn., coordinates well with a 1930 Ford Model A owned by Ray Lucksinger, Lake Elmo.
    Photo By Leslie C. McManus
  • Cockshutt 30
    A 1947 Cockshutt 30 owned by Tim Brown, St. Francis, Minn. "The Model 30 was the first tractor to have a live PTO," he says.
    Photo By Leslie C. McManus
  • Corner Monuments
    Land corner monuments, used by settlers to establish section corners, are just part of a fascinating display in the Land Office at the Little Log House Pioneer Village.
    Photo By Leslie C. McManus
  • Chicken Scale
    Once, every farm might have had one: a chicken scale from Walt's collection.
    Photo By Leslie C. McManus
  • Cushman Scooters
    Cushman scooters owned by Bev and Bob Geiken, Hastings. At left, a 1959 Highlander; at right, a 1964 Super Silver Eagle.
    Photo By Leslie C. McManus
  • Egg Candler
    A oil lamp egg candler from Walt's collection.
    Photo By Leslie C. McManus
  • Engine Shed
    In the engine shed, a fine display of rare and noteworthy antique gas engines is surrounded by collections of everything from oil cans to vintage signs, tools to phone insulators, hardware to ephemera. The display also includes a working line shaft.
    Photo By Leslie C. McManus

  • Case 80
  • Log House Show
  • Pioneer Rock Crusher
  • Elevator
  • Bench Grinders
  • Ford Cars
  • Cockshutt 30
  • Corner Monuments
  • Chicken Scale
  • Cushman Scooters
  • Egg Candler
  • Engine Shed

Roll out the barrel! We’ve got the blues on the run!” A dance hall band performing on an outside stage sets the tone at the Little Log House Antique Power Show in July. From one end of the beautifully manicured grounds to the other, the prevailing mood is that of an enormous party where the guests just happen to bring their favorite collectible – tractors, engines, cars, you name it – along with them. A worker at a concession stand sums it up neatly. “If you can’t have fun,” he says with a mock stern expression, “you can’t have fun.”

Owned by Steve and Sylvia Bauer, Hastings, Minn., Little Log House Pioneer Village offers a unique look at authentically restored historical artifacts of southern Minnesota. Fifty buildings have been salvaged and moved to the grounds; most have been furnished with period relics in a very professional manner. Friendly volunteers offer insights to local history and rural traditions.

Nestled in a quiet pocket, Sylvia’s Garden offers a peaceful diversion from the hubbub of the show. Covering more than 40,000 square feet, the garden boasts countless flowers and shrubs, two ponds, a working waterwheel, brick paths and arbors. For three days each summer – the only time each year that the village is open to the public – that backdrop of local history and natural beauty sets the stage for a show celebrating traditional farm practices.

A sprawling collection

It started, as all collections do, innocently enough. As Steve Bauer helped a neighbor demolish an old house near Hastings, under the siding he discovered logs dating to 1856. Demolition work stopped; preservation began. Steve moved the structure to his farm, and he and Sylvia launched a full restoration.



One year later, on a Sunday afternoon in 1988, the Bauers hosted a threshing bee near the little log house for family and friends. Over time, the event exploded into a three-day show – the Little Log House Antique Power Show – with visitors from every corner of the U.S.

Today, in addition to that little log house, visitors roam through an engine shed, schoolhouse, print shop, millinery and dress shop, jail, telephone building, U.S. Land Office, general store, butcher shop, church, freight house, Ford garage, train depot, implement and car dealerships, 1960s diner and more. A working rock quarry, a replica of a very unusual spiral bridge and a dirt track for truck and tractor pulls more than round out the offering. Want more? There’s a car show, historic re-enactments, crafts demonstrations, a military display, threshing, well drilling, shingle branding, parades and live music. The guy at the burger stand knew what he was talking about. If you can’t have fun here, you probably can’t have fun anywhere.



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