Twenty Years Down the Trail with the Lake Region Pioneer Threshermen’s Assoc

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This is part of the parade at the 1972 Show. Hundreds lined up to view the many steam and gas tractors.
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This is another view of the engines taking part in the parade. Art Nelson with his 12 HP Advance in the foreground. Shown too is the power windmill in the background. These were mainly used for feed grinding.
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This is a 6 HP Challenge, real nice engine and is in very good condition. Owned by Herb Risbrudt of Dalton, Minnesota 556324. Courtesy of Lake Region Pioneer Thresherman's Assn. Inc. Dalton, Minnesota 56324 [sent to us by Ralph Risbrudt].
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This is part of the old gas engines - makes and horsepower of 1-1/2 to 40. They are on display each fall at the show.

Sent to us us by Ralph Risbrudt, Dalton, Minnesota 56324

Twenty years have passed since the club staged its first show.
During those early years very few threshing shows were held and if
there were any, they were hundreds of miles away. Joe Rynda of
Montgomery, Minnesota was the closest and he used an old steam
engine and a hand feed separator. There was one show in Pontiac,
Illinois; LeRoy Blaker of Alverton, Ohio; a few in New York State,
Iowa, Canada and Pennsylvania. Otherwise we had very little
knowledge of any show and how they were conducted.

The first show was staged on a Saturday afternoon, October 10,
1954. We had three steam engines and one separator and threshed
about seven stacks of grain. This show was held for three years on
the George Melby’s farm five miles southeast of Dalton. The
fourth year it was moved to the outskirts of Dalton, Minnesota.
This was done to get added help which was provided by the Dalton
Community Club. They sponsored the show for several years and still
help us. To buy equipment, to build up the show was not easy, but
it was done. The owners of the equipment spent hundreds of hours
repairing and painting. There was no thought about pay. As time
went on more people became interested in this old machinery. Even
young boys began to look for an old gas engine as they didn’t
have the money for anything else. Older men began to look for steam
engines and tractors. Steam engines could be bought but we were a
little fussy about what it was and maybe walked away from an engine
that looked good, but was it?

After a couple of years the club leased the present grounds and
started plans to build sheds to house the equipment. A 42′ x
108′ shed was built. We really thought we had something that
should do us for several years – two years later we built the
second 36′ x 60′ shed. We now thought that the buying of
steam engines was coming to an end so no more housing was needed.
Four years later 40′ x 100′ quonset type shed was erected.
Then two rural school houses were given to the club to help
preserve the past. One is set as an old rural school with desk,
books, maps, even to an old water fountain. The other is used for a
museum as we are short of room in the other buildings.

The members of the club wished to incorporate and they did so
and incorporated the club for $10,000.00. Shares could now be sold.
Last year the club raised the corporate stock to $50,000. The land
where the buildings are was purchased and more land was leased for
parking and grain. Last summer the club built another 86′ x
120′ building. This is used for ‘doings’ during the
show and a museum during the summer months – at present it is full
of engines. A large collection of horse machinery was given to the
club and shall be under cover very soon. A power windmill was
brought in. The club built the wooden tower for it. These are very
rare. A much needed modern men’s and women’s toilets was
built last summer and has city water and sewer, making this show
among the most modern.

The club has done landscaping and plans for more; also planting
trees where needed. Burlington Northern railway sold the club the
Dalton depot and it is standing on the grounds ready for a railway
to be built. We have a locomotive, 2 ft. gauge, 4 drive wheels
weighing about 8 tons. It needs some repairs but is in nice shape.
The water tenders are on the sides and is coal or wood fired. We
hope to have this going in the not too distant future.

To date we have some thirty steam engines 8 to 36 h.p. Also over
40 gas tractors up to 60 h.p. besides grain separators, plows, saw
mill, lath mill, and shingle mill. Six stationary steam engines
besides a large boiler for same. These engines range from 2 h.p. to
250 h.p. Some 100 stationary gas engines are also on display – some
are very unique. They range in horsepower from 1 to 40 h.p. In
themselves they are a real show.

The traction engines are as follows: 36 h.p. Rumely, 35 h.p.
Nichols & Shepard, 25 h.p. Wood Bros., Two 25 h.p. Nichols
& Shepard single cylinder, 32 h.p. cross compound Reeves 30
H.P. Russel, two 28 h.p. Minneapolis, 25 h.p. Nichols & Shepard
double cylinder, 25 h.p. Advance Rumely; 22 h.p. Advance, 22 h.p.
Keck Gonnerman, 16 H.P. Baker Road roller, 65 h.p. Case, 80 h.p.
Case, 8 h.p. Case; two 25 h.p. Gaar Scott R.M. single cylinder, 25
h.p. Gaar Scott double, 1869 Aultman Taylor, 30 h.p. Huber, 22 h.p.
Avery, 12 h.p. Westinghouse, 14 h.p. Minnesota Giant chaindrive, 12
h.p. Advance, 16 h.p. Advance, 25 h.p. Rumely 30 h.p. Rumely plow
engines. The gas tractors are as follows: (I only list the large
ones) 30-60 Aultman Taylor; 40-80 Avery 1914 model; 25-50 Avery;
30-60 Russell; 40-80 Minneapolis; 30-60 Rumely old style; 27-44
Twin City; 40-62 Huber. These are only a few of the tractors we
have. Other makes include: Silver King, Minneapolis, Fordson,
Titan, John Deere, Farmall and many more.

This past year the club sold tickets instead of buttons – this
was a big saving! We bought souvenior buttons that we sold at the
office for 25 cents. The club has been publishing a book to be sold
at the show and it has been very well received. There is no
advertising to take up space and the fans like that. We have been
very fortunate with the weather – it has rained around us several
times but not at the time of the show. We are thankful for that. We
wish to thank all, the helpers and fans that have been coming here
for years and we expect you to be back again for our next show. If
it wasn’t for you – we would be soon through.

I’d like to thank Joe Fanestock of Union City, Indiana for
his most interesting articles and religious comments in the Album.
Wish we had more writings along these lines. Well, the steam is
pretty well down, might as well bank the fire and wait for
tomorrow. Hope to fire up again and get some more ideas soon. See
you this fall at the show.

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