Joe Steinhagen and His Steam Engine Demonstrate 'The Way It Was'

| July/August 1999

Reprinted by written permission from Senior Perspective, Glenwood, Minnesota Sent to us by Joe Steinhagen, 11980 Kluver Addition Road SE, Alexandria, Minnesota 56308.

Joe says, 'This Senior Perspective is an interesting paper. I used to always pick it up when I would see it around because the lead article was generally pretty interesting. So I called them and asked them if they would be interested in doing an article on a steam engine and they called back and said they would be, so here is a copy of it. 1 had Arlene Fults from the Rune stone Museum help me with the interview. She's so good at adding the human side of the story. I tend to get stuck on the nuts and bolts of the operation. I've been working with the Rune stone Museum in Alexandria and maybe someday we'll put on a demonstration there for the folks to see. Right now, my engine is housed at our Rose City Threshing show grounds. It is a nice, smaller show that is growing slowly. Our show is centered around and in Harvey Danielson's farm yard and everywhere it is covered with lawn to walk on. We've got all the usual stuff, but on a smaller scale with a relaxed atmosphere. Show dates for 1999 are August 14 and 15.

'I have to thank my help on the steam engine this past summer, Jim Pospisil and Paul Roers. They even had an opportunity this past summer to show Richard Rovig from Roth say, MN that they know how to belt up to the threshing machine in one try. I was impressed also good job.'

'Take me back So I can see The simple way Things used to be. . .'

The theme song from a 1975 television drama called The FamilyHolvak explains the fascination people have for vintage farm equipment, nostalgia for a time when people could understand exactly how machines and communities worked. The steam engine tractor symbolizes a brief era in our history when farming and community life were different.. .the era of the threshing bee.

Joe Steinhagen of Forada owns a fully functional 1913 Case 60 HP steam engine tractor and has a hobby license to operate it. He shows it off in parades and at threshing bees. Eager crowds press close to examine it. 'You can walk right up to it and see how everything works,' Steinhagen explains.