Peaceful Valley Reunion

Frederic, Wisconsin

NIGH UNTO TWO YEARS had passed since purchased an ‘Indiana
Tractor’ for my good friend, Rolland Maxwell, who hails from
the Hoosier State. Seems he had experienced several set backs to
hinder his efforts to retrieve it. Enroute to the ‘Johnson
place’ he stopped at LaForge, Wisconsin, where Durward
Steinmetz helped Rolland to load a Keystone thresher I had bought
last spring. So from there on he had cargo both ways.

Rolland had hinted previously he’d like to take in some
steam engine doings while up here (some 750 miles from home) and of
course that is up our alley 100%. On short notice the Ray Lockmans,
from Gordon, Wisconsin, were here and ‘we all’ took off for
Archie Stevens at Millville, Minnesota. In spite of our haste we
stopped enroute to look at a Gray tractor, which I hope to own
someday. This, not our first trip to the ‘Peaceful Valley’
Reunion, but like the prior times we again got lost. To us, all
those valleys twixed wooded hills spell out a sort of ‘Close to
Nature’ feeling, calm and posessive. Wending our way over
bridges and ’round curves then suddenly the Stevens
homestead.

No swanky buildings here no fancy painted steamers, no society
evident, this family sponsored affair still proves very active. For
four-bits they stamp your hand and the ground is yours. (Ray got
both his hands stamped, just in case).

The smoke over the valley was evident of things in action the
steamers all hot, a little steam leak here or another there just
like when they were being used day in and day out doing their work
in days of yore. Here we see drive belts paralelled up twixt steam
and machine. On the power end we find Case, Advance, Birdsall and
single and double free lance engine jobs. On the receiving end we
noted an 1864 hand fed thresher, an 8-roll corn shredder, a steel
thresher (Case of course), with all attachments, a saw mill, a
shingle mill and a lathe mill. Water was being pumped by steam
power. Several engine models were on display or working their way
through the crowd. The line up of old tractors included 10-20
Titan; English Fordson; Waterloo Boy; and two 8-16
Internationals.

Between the lunch stand and the display of antiques was
‘staged’ a truck thereon the old accordian playing
requested numbers by Clarence Vosler of Lake City, Minnesota.
Spelling him off was Elmer Pearson from Red Wing, Minnesota, with
his Concertina playing Scandinavian tunes, like most Swedes I
‘got loose all over.’

As the western hills cast long shadows over the playground and
the crowd had wained our fun was just beginning that’s when
Archie’s son got the Model ‘T’ alopys going from a
stripped down wire wheeled job to an old fire truck with all the
trimmings Free rides and how! It made you forget all your troubles
including rheumatism, and gave you a lift like no pills or medicine
could ever do. Glancing around we saw Mrs. Lockman driving the
Advance engine. -‘Lot’s of fun’ she said.

We all got home by midnight, and the next morning at breakfast
commenting on ‘Archie’s Day’ we all agreed with Rolland
when he said ‘I could go back there again just awful
easy.’

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