4411 Mechanic Road Hillsdale, Michigan 49242
I think we should all do our part to help support your fine
I hope this does not bore or sound cocky to anyone. Once I
decided to write, I did not know what to write until one evening, I
asked my wife Renee if she would care that I take in a few more
engine shows next summer. Boy! Did I ever get my question answered.
She promptly told me I probably couldn’t remember all I went to
last summer, how could I do more?
Well, here it is, my best recollection from the hot summer of
1995 and a few pictures from our trips.
It all started about the first of April, when we were happy to
acquire a 1912, 25 HP, double cylinder Rumely plow engine. Having
spent all of my years on an Oil Pull, the old Rumely has been a lot
of fun, especially for my nine year old son, Justin, who has really
taken to steam engines! He has even started wearing one of those !,
Approximately, polka dot hats.
Well, we hauled the Rumely on a cold wet spring day but safely
made it to the Lost Nation’s steam grounds. After a good
greasing and oiling, we steamed up and started getting a good
education from John Schrock and Grahm Sellers.
For us younger folks it’s so important to have people like
Grahm and John to help us along. In the past I have fired and
helped maintain packaged and field erected boilers over 1,000 HP
and 1200 psi. Through this I have done a lot of schooling, which is
all fine and good, but will surely not make for a quality, safe
traction engineer. We all should read everything we can that will
help educate us in our knowledge of safety and operation, but that
alone is no substitute for a ‘hands on education’. Maybe
one day Justin and I will be as competent as John and Grahm, if
they’re patient with us.
The second trip of the year was not a show, but according to
Renee, it qualifies. After talking to good friend, Dave Shearns in
New York, most of an eight bottom Rumely plow was tracked down in
Pennsylvania. It just seems to make sense if you’ve got a
Rumely plow engine, you should have a Rumely plow. The necessary
phone calls were made and arrangements agreed upon to pick up the
plow. Since it’s quite a long drive, John Schrock volunteered
to ride along, so early on Saturday we were off to
We got along well, loaded the plow pieces and made it back the
225 miles before dark. The plow is in pretty good shape, but is
missing three lifting arms and mechanisms. If anyone out there
knows of plow parts that may work, please let me know. It would
sure be nice to get this plow complete and working.
Well, we were heading into summer the first weekend in June. The
weather is nice and warm for the first annual Lost Nation’s
Steam Up. What a great kickoff to summer it was. There were lots of
good friends, lots of engines fired up, Troy Pausen and Tracey
Powers’ new Prony brake, some nice steep hills to play on, a
tasty roast hog and cold refreshments left no one unsatisfied.
Young Alan Kennedy, age 11, and Justin were quite a sight as they
spent most of the day firing the big Rumely on their own. With
quite a few dads keeping a watchful eye on the boys, they handled
themselves very well and are becoming fine young engineers.
A few more weeks along, it’s the last weekend in June and
time for the National Threshers in Wauseon, Ohio, and the Russell
feature. There was a real fine display of Russell engines on hand
from small to large, as well as a good line up of different brands
of engines and tractors.
Two engines that received a lot of attention were Ed Hurd’s
freshly painted Nichols & Shepard and one of the neatest little
engines surviving, number one Baker. This is the first engine built
by A. D. Baker, and it is still owned by family descendants. It was
restored by John Schrock this past winter.
It’s always great to see a one-of-a-kind engine running
again and I really enjoyed operating the Baker a few times, as well
as riding along on the haul to Wauseon for its first show in
It’s the first weekend in July, and by now the hot summer
weather has arrived. But no time to cool the wheels, it’s off
to the Ageless Iron Expo in Ankeny, Iowa, with Cliff and Salley
Peterson and Justin.
Renee made us a nice send-off breakfast, and we were off. The
trip through Chicago is always fun and we were soon at our
overnight stop at good friends Ron and Lora Lee Miller’s in
Genesco, Illinois. Soon after we arrived, my mom and dad (Frank
& Sue), Ginney and Uncle Dean, good friends Bud and Vivian
Warrenment, all from Michigan, arrived to continue the trek to
Ankeny with us. This was a good pit stop for Bud and me, as he had
an inside dual go flat and it needed changing, and my old water
heater in the Champion sprang a leak and had to be bypassed.
After the motor coach maintenance was complete, we spent the
afternoon touring the Millers’ collection of Oil Pulls and
talked Rumelys well into the evening. The Millers arc great hosts
and it’s always nice to have a fun stop along the way of a
lengthy drive, where you can enjoy good friends and family.
By the middle of day two, we were set up at the show grounds in
Ankeny. We had pre-registered, but really had no idea what to
expect, as this was the first Expo. We were all pleasantly
surprised with the organization. As most of you know, to put on a
show if this magnitude is a real feat and we were all impressed
with the activities and the exhibits.
It was a weekend of perfect weather in Iowa. We had great fun,
saw friends from New York to Nebraska and could not have been
happier that we’d made the trip with Uncle Cliff and Aunt
July 14, it was 102 degrees, in Litchfield, Michigan, at the
Yesterday and Today Engine Show. This is a small local show that
does it all. Just a few steam engines, a good line of tractors and
stationary engines with wheat binding, threshing, sawing, plowing,
Baker fan, tractor pulls and a daily parade.
As with many shows in the Midwest this summer the heat really
hurt attendance, but the hardy folks at Litchfield kept things
going. Grahm Sellers, Troy Pausen and Jerry Wool gamood did some
awful hot duty keeping the engines, threshing and sawing moving and
we won’t forget Ed Hurd, who braved the heat to participate in
the belting contest.
There were two young ladies that the heat did not seem to
bother, Amada Wool gamood, age 5, and Jessica Rupert, age 6, who
had as much fun as anyone on the Oil Pull ‘Pup.’ It’s
great to see these two youngsters enjoying the engines and tractors
as much as the boys do.
July 27, 99 degrees. It’s the Thursday before the big steam
show in Michigan. I’ve got the Oil Pull on the trailer, have
Justin, Jessica and friend Sara loaded and we’re off to the
Michigan Steam Engine and Threshers Show. This is always a great
show and a great reunion with old friends. Anyone who has not
attended this show is missing out. From HP gas engines to 100+HP
traction engines, you will not find a show with more activity.
Taking care of seven and eight-year-old girls kept me pretty
occupied, and it took son Justin about 10 minutes to find something
to do besides hang around Dad and two girls. I didn’t have to
look around for him, as he was always on John Schrock’s
Aultman-Taylor. I can’t say thanks enough to John for the time
he spent with Justin. A few days with someone like John does more
than any school could, and I was a pretty proud dad one afternoon
to find Justin and John on the sawmill, after Justin had backed
into the belt on his own.
It’s the time people like Uncle Cliff, Uncle Al, John, Grahm
Sellers, Troy Pausen and Grandpa spend with these youngsters that
will keep the heritage alive.
August 10, 100 degree-plus. Renee and the kids were all loaded
in the Champion with the 14-28 and ‘Pup’ in tow and were
off to the third annual Rumely Products Expo in Georgetown, Ohio.
It was a great show with at least 72 pieces of Rumely,
Aultman-Taylor, Advance, Northwest, and other affiliated company
products in attendance.
The heat was intense and difficult at times, but thanks to Edwin
and Connie Fiscus, it was a great display. Their untiring efforts
to coordinate the Expo were evident, and to handle this amount of
equipment and hauling that was required, was staggering, let alone
the temperature and humidity near 100 degrees everyday.
We had a lot of fun everyday and every evening, with those who
stopped around for the nightly ‘bull-sessions.’ Thanks also
to the Hauk family for their help and to Wendall Kelch, O.V.A.M.
president, and to all who brought in exhibits, memorabilia, parts,
or helped out in some way.
Sunday always comes too quickly, and by early afternoon, we were
loaded for the seven-hour trip home. It wasn’t hard to have
that warm satisfied feeling, after a good show, as we motored
through Cincinnati at 103 degrees.
September 9, only 87 degrees in Adrian, Michigan. It’s been
a month since the last show, and that’s far too long. A good
cure for that was the Adrian engine show.
They have a nice line of engines on hand. With Troy Pausen’s
new sawmill set up and powered by Rod Haverstein’s 16 HP Gaar
Scott it made for an enjoyable Saturday afternoon. A few
refreshments with Rod and Jim Schrock, a nice spark show from Myron
and Tracey Powers put a nice end to a beautiful day in
A frosty 20 degrees in early October. It’s early A.M. and we
were gathering at the Sellers’ farm in Kinderhook, Michigan, to
plow and thresh a little.
The Nichols and 22 Advance on the separator, the 75 Case, 25
Gaar Scott, 25 Russell and 20 Minneapolis kept all the plowing
operators warm on a frosty morning. With Ed Hurd firing the stove,
with advice from Bernard Wood man see, everyone in the shop
chatting was warm, as well.
By early afternoon, under a beautiful warm sunny sky, the roast
hog was ready and Jean Sellers and friends treated all to an
excellent thresher man’s pot luck. The day, as always, ended
too soon. Around the wood stove, well after midnight, we all shared
fond memories and the mixed feelings of great fun, but also knowing
the summer of ’95 had come to an end. Thanks to Grahm and Jean
for their gracious hospitality, summer could not have ended any
From left to right: Renee Rupert, Cheri Woolgamood, Amanda
Woolgamood, Dennis Rupert, Jessica Rupert, Justin Rupert. The last
firing before winter at Lost Nations. Photo by Jerry
Well, it’s two weeks later and Jerry Woolgamood and I just
can’t give up yet. The weather forecast is warm, so we met at
Lost Nations once more to fire up the Rumely. Renee, Cheri and the
kids all had a great day playing on the hills, one last day before
Now in the heart of winter, it’s a minus eight degrees with
wind chills around 40 below. We can only wait for that first warm
spring weekend and the chance to attend lots and lots more engines
shows. You won’t mind will ya, Renee?