He gets up quite a ‘head of steam’

By Staff
article image
Archie poses with his New Birdsell engine which he rebuilt.

SOME people collect match books, others collect stamps. But
collecting farm equipment from a bygone era is a hobby with Archie
Stevens, Wabasha county, Minnesota.

Stevens has a number of steam threshing engines, separators,
early gasoline tractors, and other equipment.

Stevens started with a large Case threshing engine which
he’s operated since he was 15 years old. After having this
engine in his yard for several years, he became interested in
collecting. Now he has one of the finest private collections of
early tractors in the Middle West.

One of the nice things about Stevens’ collection is that
everything works. All of the steam boilers are checked annually by
state inspectors. And on the first week-end in October, Stevens
gets everything running and invites the public to his farm to see
his collection in operation.

‘I get up early on that first Saturday in October, and get
the fires started in the boilers,’ says Stevens. ‘By about
10 o’clock, the pressure’s up and everything’s running.
The crowd generally adds up to three or four thousand.’

A visitor stopping in nearby Millville to ask for directions to
Stevens farm is likely to be told that it’s the place with junk
scattered around. But anyone who stops to take a look will find
that the ‘junk’ is actually collectors items, and well
preserved and painted at that.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment