Vouk's Steam Show To Celebrate Silver Anniversary

| September/October 1989

  • 80 HP Case
    This 80 HP Case, shown here in a 1965 photo, is the star of Vouk's Steam Show

  • 80 HP Case

703 Co. Road 2 So. St. Stephen, Minnesota 56375

The Vouk Family of St. Stephen, Minnesota will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its' Steam Threshing and Lumber Sawing Show on Saturday and Sunday, September 23, 24, 1989.

The show began in 1965 when Val Hlebain, brother-in-law of W. F. Vouk, head of the Vouk family offered to furnish oats to thresh and logs to saw if Bill wanted to put on a show. Bill was, as was his father, a thresherman and sawmill operator in years past, the last custom threshing run having been done in 1961 by Bill's sons, Jim and Ray. Bill still had the 80 Case steamer which his father, Frank, had bought new and had just restored, with most of the work being done by August Schuneman, who had been an engineer for Bill's dad. Bill had also acquired a 65 Case in 1961. He still owned the 28'Huber thresher and 22-36 McCormick tractor used to power it along with many farm antiques and equipment still residing on the family farm. At this time, the sawmill which was last used about 1956, had fallen into disrepair, so on October 1, 1965, the first show was presented with a borrowed portable sawmill powered by the 80 Case and the 28' Huber threshing four stacks of oats, powered by the 65 Case.

From this very small one-day show, it has grown to a two-day affair featuring a full line of antique operating equipment, including the 36' Huber wing feeder thresher Bill had used with a ten-ton Holt Caterpillar, and had re-acquired about the second year of the show, having kept the Holt. Other threshers area Case hand-feed, the 28' Huber and a 26' John Deere. Also featured is the original, rebuilt #2 Howell sawmill, clover huller, corn shredder, corn sheller, old-time wood splitter, lath mill, shingle mill, handle machine and dowel machine. Lots of gas engines are on display and running, from a 1 HP International to a 35 HP Ingeco weighing six tons. There are about 40 gas tractors in operation, featuring a 35-70 Minneapolis, a 40-60 Twin City, and a 30-60 Aultman-Taylor. The number of steam engines at the show has grown to seven, some of which are brought in by friends.

Over the years, a 110-year old log house has been brought in, refurbished and furnished, where tasty snacks are prepared on an old wood-burning cook stove and served to visitors. An old store has been moved from just across the street and furnished, and also the school where Bill Vouk attended school was moved just a few hundred feet, having been on an adjoining lot. School will be in session in this building and also a blacksmith shop will be in operation.

As a special feature of the anniversary show, we hope to have in operation, a 480 HP four-cylinder Ames steam power plant which came out of the hospital in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Also, on Saturday night, there will be a fireworks display, following the 7:00 p.m. outdoor Catholic mass, on the site of the first mass in the St. Stephen community over 100 years ago.


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