R.R. Greenville, Iowa 51343
A rising star among steam shows in northwest Iowa is the Albert
City Threshermen and Collector’s Show. The show location is two
miles west and one mile north of Albert City. The 1991 attendance
of 13,500 spectators is not surprising, since the show held many
acres of excitement for the whole family.
For the antique farming fans, pulling power was supplied by a
wide variety of sources. Over 50 horses, ponies, and mules,
including a jumping mule, provided 100% natural power for many
exhibits. The next step in the history of farm power, steam
engines, was also on hand. Gas and diesel tractors represented the
final step in farm progress with 219 exhibits. The featured line of
farm products was Massey-Harris. A Wallis tractor, a predecessor to
Massey-Harris, was the featured tractor. Over 200 portable gas
engines showed how people received power before having electricity.
A stationary Corliss steam engine and three cylinder
Fairbanks-Morse diesel engine demonstrated the power sources found
in factories in the early 1900s. On a smaller scale, working models
of gas, steam, and hot air engines were displayed, including an
entire scale threshing rig.
The tractors and steam engines did not sit idle at the show. To
the delight of die-hard threshing fans, several threshing machines
ran throughout the show. Field activities also included plowing. A
lumber mill worked the big tractors and steam engines. For
engineers and tractor operators, a dynamo and Baker fan put their
engines to the test. The more daring operators could enter a
sanctioned antique tractor pull. On the other hand, machines did
not receive the only workout. The horses and ponies were put to
work pulling tour wagons. The trolleys would take passengers on a
tour of the grounds. Horses also pulled the bundle racks to the
threshing machines. In addition, they were put to use drilling
wells. However, not all horses came to work. The association’s
first open class horse show drew 184 riders.
A trip on the trolleys took passengers to many other interesting
attractions. In addition to the many farm machines at the show,
approximately 100 antique cars and trucks were also displayed.
Blacksmiths and the Ridge Runners (Cherokee Ridge Runners are a
group of people dedicated to the continued knowledge and practices
of the early pioneers) demonstrated many skills used by the
pioneers and settlers. Along the parade route, everyone could
browse through the farmstead house and ‘svensga
stuga.” (A svensga stuga is something probably known only
by a few people in the immediate area of Albert City. It is a
replica of a Swedish summer home or, as we refer to it, a summer
cottage.) An authentic school house also sat along the parade
route. Tent shows provided a place to rest and be entertained by a
wide variety of performers. The petting zoo entertained children.
Then everyone was entertained by the daily parades. On Sunday, a
nondenominational church service was given in the tent.
For people interested in souvenirs and merchandise, in other
words, shopping, hordes of items from cider to shingles were for
sale. The broom making hut was always popular. Down by the lumber
mill, the shingle mill made souvenir show shingles. On the other
end of the grounds, 42 craft displays filled a large building and
the corn crib. Across the road from the site, toy exhibitors filled
14 tables. A flour mill and cider hut were also on the grounds. For
the hungry folks, the Threshermen’s Cafe was ready to please.
Homemade ice cream was available at the Lil’ Red Barn.
Refreshments were also available at the General Store. The General
Store sold many more items including books and souvenirs. A
printing press and harness display were located in the store
The August 7, 8, 9, 1992 Threshermen & Collector’s Show
is expected to be even bigger and better. The show will celebrate
150 years of the J. I. Case Company, the featured implement will be
a hand fed Case agitator. This show is one you will not want to
miss, and I hope to meet you there.