35 12th Street, N.W., Rochester, Minnesota 55901
Curt Leighty and Jim Roper on the Garr Scott at the Olmsted County Historical Society Mechanical History and Threshing Show.
Recently, the Olmsted County Historical Society held its 5th annual Mechanical History and Threshing Show (August 11 and 12, 1979) at Rochester, Minnesota.
It was a very good show with a lot of small gas engines and things that go with small gas engines. There were quite a few old farm tractors and machinery, most of which were brought in by other people. However, the Historical Society owns most of the machinery.
There were five different threshing machines, three of which were being used. Two of the threshers were run by steam engines and one by gas tractors. There was also a saw mill set up and running.
The highlight of the two-day show for me was the steam engines. The smaller of the two steamers was a 20 HP Russell owned by a local man. The big engine was a 25 HP Canadian built Garr Scott. This engine is now owned by Mr. Curtis Leighty of River Falls, Wisconsin. Mr. Leighty bought the Garr Scott about 18 months ago from the man I believe bought it new and used it in Canada until Mr. Leighty brought it to Wisconsin. This Garr Scott is a very fine engine. It is a twin cylinder and in fine condition.
What made this last weekend so enjoyable for me was I was able to work with this engine. I have been around steam engines for the past 20 years but this weekend had a few firsts for me. (I'm in my early forties). It was the first time I had a chance to help fire up and bring up a head of steam. (We fired with coal.) First time I ever drove a steamer and belted it up to a thresher.
Belting up was something I hadn't done for many years and I did it this time on the first try. On Saturday, I helped keep steam up and oiled. On Sunday we had to reset and again I belted up and did it on the first try. I was able to run the engine from putting water in the boiler, keeping up steam, oiling, starting up and stopping the thresher. I learned a lot about the operation and do's and don'ts on running steam engines, which I would like to thank Mr. Curtis Leighty for.
We have a very active county Historical Society and a very fine museum and a great man running it. I would like to invite all who come to our city of Rochester to visit our Olmsted County Historical Society Museum.
As I said at the start, it was a very good show and there were things for almost everyone to see. There was a flea market with lots of fine things for sale.
We had good weather for the show. Sunday was cool and cloudy and looked like rain, but it held off until we got the oats finished.
This looks like the only steam and gas show I'll get to and work at, but do hope that all the other shows have the same great turn out that we did here.