R.R. #13, Box 209, Brazil, Indiana 47834
Today we are able to visit area shows where some of these
engines are in the same locality as they were 50 years ago.
I enjoy visiting ‘new’ shows (shows I have never
attended), and this year I was able to visit the 13th annual Twenty
Lakes Engine and Tractor Club, Inc. Show at Harrison, Michigan.
Harrison is located right in the middle of the lower part of
Michigan and, as the show was held on June 20-22, 1997, the weather
was very pleasant. The club owns a large show grounds west of
Harrison which has a large sawmill and sawmill shed located on the
It did not take long for me to find some ‘steam men.’ I
met Dale Sonke of Rockford, Michigan, who had his newly restored 6
HP Peerless ‘F’ at the show. The steam engine is serial
#9341, was built from 1900-1910, and carried 100 lbs. of steam. It
was certainly easy to tell that Dale had spent many hours restoring
and painting the Peerless.
I was surprised to find another 6 HP Peerless ‘F’ at the
show which belonged to Ralph Johnson. Both of these engines were
identical, except Ralph’s engine was newer as it was serial
The sawdust was kept flying at the sawmill, as a 20 HP
Minneapolis provided the flywheel power. The engine, which is
serial #8619, is owned by George Moss of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan;
his son Mike was running the engine. It was a pleasure to meet
George and Mike, as I meet few Minneapolis steam men compared to
the admirers of Case and other makes of steam engines.
A Frick 9 x 10, serial #15614, owned by Gilbert Shrock of Lake,
Michigan, was at the show, as was a 1913 24 HP Port Huron compound
owned by Ron, Doug and Terry Scott.
The club demonstrated shingle making with a shingle mill and
also had a good display of stationary steam engines which were
powered by a Scotch boiler. The show had a good sized flea market
which carried a variety of items. Camping is available five miles
away at Wilson State Park, and there are seven motels in
One small criticism I have for the club, which is applicable to
any show which advertises and lists a person to contact for more
information, is to make sure that the person will be available to
provide information. The person who was the contact phone number
for this show was in Florida until show time. A few people who
sought information about the show probably decided not to
To close on a positive note, I would recommend a visit to this
show to anyone who lives or vacations in Michigan. You will get to
meet some Michigan steam men and Michigan steam engines.