STRUM STEAM DAYS

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Steam engine days at Strum, Wisconsin. This is a Jackson Harvester in action.
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''Steam Engine Joe'' Rynda on his 10 HP Aultman-Taylor 1878 Model Eureka ''Sunflower'' as Marshall of festival Grande Parade. Chairman Bernie Ness at the wheel.

Strum, Wisconsin 54770

A few lines regarding the Fourth Annual Steam Engine Day
observance held at Strum on last Aug 11-12-13th may be of interest.
We are located on Highway 10 in the Beef River Valley of west
central Wisconsin.

Beautiful weather marked the event again this year bringing
crowds beyond any previous attendance. The program began on Friday
afternoon with a modern – day tractor pulling contest on a soil
cemented drive; at the same time steamers owned by Mort Moe, Geo.
Loomis, Merle McCart, Archie Stevens, Harold Churchill, Lloyd
Loomis, Alfred Gunderson, Sig Rice and Louis Slabic began flexing
their pressures on the usual steam show equipment. Elmer Everson of
Blair, Wis. was again on hand with the 32′ 1887 Minneapolis
‘Victory’ separator, owned by his family since purchased
new 80 years ago. Many old timers renewed acquaintances while
awaiting a turn at the feed table. A coronation ceremony sponsored
by the ladies Civic Club took place during the evening.

‘Steam Engine’ Joe Rynda arrived late Friday from
Montgomery, Minn. and brought his 1878 10 HP Aultman-Taylor Eureka
‘Sunflower’. Joe arose early Saturday morning, had steam up
and shortly after day-break his mockingbird whistle let all 700
villagers and the country side know the show was on.

The regular program began at 10, continuing thru the day, with a
heavy class tractor pull, a downtown Kiddies parade with the theme
American history and Happenings, sky diving and free attractions
interspersed.

The valley of the Reviere Des Beauf, as the French named it 300
years ago, produces some of the finest red oak in America and this
year the committee in charge were very fortunate in their choice of
logs, and sawyer. Gerry Moe, a top operator, had his Jackson
Harvester slab off clear red oak boards twelve to fourteen feet
long at a feed speed which kept the engines really working.
Attendance numbered several thousand throughout the afternoon and
most were on hand for an evening stage show, featuring the
Edelweiss Stars, a group of Swiss folk singers from New Glarus,
Wis. who presented an excellent program.

Sunday dawned bright and clear and over 1500 attended a 9
o’clock Worship Service conducted by Rev. Luther Monson of
Strum Lutheran, supported by organ and a full choir. The steam show
commenced at 10:30 continuing until noon with crowds pouring in. A
conservative estimate of 35-40,000 spectators were on hand at 1:30
when ‘Steam-Engine’ Joe as Grand Marshall of the festival
Parade led sixty-five selected units down the packed route. The
wooden-wheeled ‘Sunflower’ was a big attraction and well
received with hundreds of cameras recording its presence. Area
city, village, industrial and commercial floats were acknowledged
in the fore part of this event with the ‘Century of Change’
pageant featuring projections from each decade of the last century
occupying the last portion. The hour and twenty minute program had
a real nostalgic finale for many – a six mule hitch on an old
circus calliope, with Mrs. Juanita Beck of LaCrosse, at the
console. Many followed several blocks to hear the old circus
fanfare and marches.

The steam program continued until dusk with a 10 o’clock
closing ceremony.

A real attraction at the Strum show was the ‘Beef River
Flyer’, a steam train purchased early this year from Henry
McMillan of Galva, III. The little ‘puffer-belly’ operated
at capacity all days with an unusual number of adults riding behind
steam again. The ‘Flyer’ operates in the river park every
week-end and holidays during the summer months.

The 1968 event is scheduled for Aug 9-10-11 with plans for a
more diversified program and at least one new attraction. We also
wish to express appreciation for the space given the announcement
of our show in your very interesting ALBUM.

The club printed 3,000 twenty-eight page programs selling at 35
cents which was well received, only a couple of hundred remaining
at this time.

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