The Fourteenth annual Hesper-Mabel Steam Engine Days Show was held September 8th and 9th, 1973.
Hesper-Mabel Steam Engine Days is really a gigantic community celebration that takes place when the cities of Mabel, Minnesota and Hesper, Iowa, together with their surrounding communities join together to stage this annual gala event.
Sponsors are the Mabel Business Association, the Hesper Improvement Club, the Farm Bureau, the Farmer's Union and area 4-H clubs.
Although Saturday, September 8th and Sunday, September 9th were designated as dates for the 1973 reunion, Friday afternoon featured steam engine activity.
The Midway opened with shows and rides at the Steam Engine grounds. Special reduced ride tickets were available, compliments of Mabel merchants. At 7:00 p.m.; there was the 4-H Queen Banquet at the St. Olaf Catholic church basement lounge.
The annual Steam Engine Bowl Football game was held at Mabel Athletic Field. The kickoff at 7:45 p.m. was between Harmony High School and Mabel-Canton High School. The two schools competed for the Traveler's Trophy. Between halves, 4-H queen candidates were honored in a presentation.
A Square Dance Jubilee by the Grand Squares area club was held Friday night at 8:30 p.m. on Mabel Main Street. Free dances were held on both Friday and Saturday nights at the Mabel Legion Hall.
At 3 p.m. Saturday at the stage show site on the grounds, Greg Wennes was Master of Ceremonies as the Queen candidates were presented and the coronation of the new queen took place. All contestants were area 4-H club girls with a special program on stage.
Arlene Peterson was chosen to be the 1973 Queen of Steam Engine Days.
Saturday afternoon and evening, the Prohut family and comedian Bobby Smith appeared in a stage show. The Mabel First Lutheran High School choir sang at 7:30 p.m. Sunday evening, the Mabel-Canton High School Band, directed by Mel Ruehmann, gave a concert. At 10 p.m. Sunday, a 1973 Ford Maverick was given away.
One of the new features was the 3rd Annual Antique Show and sale at the High School Gym on Saturday, the 8th and Sunday, the 9th. Sixteen exhibitors from several states participated. Store windows featured antique displays. The Newburg and Mabel Garden Club had a flower show in the telephone building.
One thing the Hesper-Mabel show is to be commended for is the food that was available. From noon on, Bar-B-Q fried chicken was served on the Mabel Creamery lawn by the Mabel Lions Club. I don't know many other places there were but I happened to stop at one of the church stands where the food was delicious and the apple pie was really good.
As to activity as I saw it, threshing was in progress with two threshers in operation being powered by gas tractors.
Lumber sawing was a leading attraction as usual, an 18 HP Rumely engine furnished the power. Gerhard Larson of Spring Grove, Minnesota was the engineer. He told me Mrs. Wilma Clauson of Spring Grove is the owner.
Mr. Leon Vandervort of Tomah, Wisconsin, was operating his miniature lumber saw with his 3-1/2 HP model case engine. Abe Lewis, his son-in-law from West Salem, Wisconsin, was operating the saw. Mr. Vandervort has spent fifty-one years at sawmill work for different companies.
Mr. C. D. McCann of 2036 Prospect Street, LaCrosse, Wisconsin was there with a model traction engine that he built. The engine is a model Buffalo-Pitts double cylinder. The boiler, stack and deck are Case. A miniature engine mounted near the stack runs an electric generator that lights the head light, is wired to and lights on the rear of the engine as well as a bulb on an aerial that extends up about 8 or 10 feet from the deck. The engine weighs 1380 pounds and is 5 HP. He also has a model flat top water tank.
A tractor pulling contest was held Sunday afternoon. It was interesting to see the many tractors the fanners had brought to town.
Stanley Falada, Rt. 1 Mabel, Minnesota brought his steel Fordson tractor to town. I believe Ford was building them about 1918. Stanley was a little timid about showing it but he shouldn't be. It's a good one to own.
I met Warren David of Holman, Wisconsin, who has attended several Hesper-Mable shows.
'Welcome Visitors' the banners read on the storefronts and the friendly attitude of the people seems to bear out such a message.
The city of Mable and its south of the border neighbor, Hesper, Iowa, along with the committee in charge, are to be congratulated on the fine work they are doing with steam engine days.