...And away we go!


| May/June 1977



Rogers, Minnesota 55374

Each year as our family plans our vacation trip, my son, Craig and I make sure we are able to attend one or two steam shows along the way.

This past year the first part of our trip took us to the Land of Lincoln. After a seven hour drive we arrived at Davis Junction, Illinois, the home of Hedkes Hickory Oaks Farm. The driveway and grounds are beautifully kept. The campground is in a nice wooded area, quiet and beautiful. After getting settled we took a short walk around the grounds and we came upon a group of engineers that were relaxing and swapping stories after the day's work. I can see engineers are pretty much the same, whether you are in the Land of the Tall Swedes or in Illinois by the big lies they tell each other, but I guess that has to be part of the game. They have a large multi-purpose building where they show movies and slides in the evening, but after a hard day's drive we decided to retire for the night.

After a good night's rest and a big breakfast, we headed out to see the show and the first man we meet flying around the grounds was George Hedke. Between handling the water wagon and organizing activities for the day, he was able to take time out to talk to us. George said he had been crazy about steam engines since he was 1% years old. In school that was all he could think ofengines and threshing machines. After he got out of the Navy his dreams started coming true as he gathered his first steam engines. After twenty years he has a fine collection and they operate a good show with lots of activity. They operate a little different than we do at Rogers. Everything is done at a certain time so you have to check the program so you don't miss anything. At Rogers we thresh all day, also some of the other events go on steady.

A slat stacker Westinghouse hand feed was in use, powered by a 6 HP Westinghouse built in 1867. A 32' wood case slat stacker powered by six horses was also in use. One of the smallest, simplest baler you would ever see was powered by one mule; it was made by International. A tub grinding Dain burr mill powered by horses was a rare sight. Corn shelling was done by a wood Sandwich powered by an International gas engine. Plowing was done with a fourteen bottom John Deere pulled by the 110 HP Case. The saw mill was powered by a 19 HP Port Huron. Another beautiful Port Huron engine was shown by Lester Lindenmier and his wife, Doris, of Cherry, Illinois. Doris is an excellent engineer and the first lady engineer I have ever met. We had a nice visit and Lester was gracious enough to let me take a tour of the grounds with his engine. Ron Pieper from Freeport had a 1922 18 HP Advance. We also had a good bull session both of us being Advance men.

Other tractors were Oil Pulls, Case 22-40 Cross Mount, Case 20 x 40 twin opposed, G. P. John Deere row crop, a Thieman using a Model A Ford engine and rear end, a Case three wheel and a one row Heider tractor was an interesting piece powered by a four cylinder Le Roi.