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VOUK’S STEAM THRESHING AND LUMBER SAWING SHOW

Author Photo
By Allen Freeburg | Nov 1, 1974

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This is a picture of my 80 HP Case on sawmill at one of our shows
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This is my 65 HP Case engine. I am standing by the wheel. Courtesy of W. F. Vouk, St. Stephen, Minnesota 56375
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A picture of an 80 HP Case steamer before restoration, which was bought new in 1917 by my Dad, the late Frank Vouk, now owned by me.
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The restored 80 HP Case as it looks today. Courtesy of W. F. Vouk, St. Stephen, Minnesota 56375
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St. Cloud, Minnesota 56301

Last October 6 and 7, 1973, I went to see Vouk’s Steam
Engine Show, in the village of St. Stephen, Minnesota, which is
about fourteen miles northwest of St. Cloud, Minnesota.

For the last four years I have visited this good show, which is
many shows in one. Besides the several steam engines and gas
tractors running, there are grain threshing, corn shredding, and
lumber sawing demonstration, operated mostly by big Case steam
engines and Minneapolis and Twin City gas tractors.

This show is mostly owned and run by William Vouk, Sr., and his
sons and neighbors. It started in 1965 partly because William
Vouk’s brother-in-law urged him to put on a grain threshing
demonstration in October that year. It has grown a lot since then
and every year it has become bigger and better, and attendance is
growing, too.

Besides the grain threshing, corn shredding, lumber sawing, and
wood splitting, there are several others, like antiques and antique
cars, also, a blacksmith shop. Music and eats are furnished on the
grounds.

A steam engine and tractor and thresher parade is also put on
daily in the afternoon around the grounds. This show usually is a
two-day show on a Saturday and Sunday in October, and last year
there were three to four thousand in attendance.

This show is no doubt the best private one now of its kind in
Central Minnesota, and it is growing every year. One year lately,
it drew visitors from seven nearby states.

As I stated above, this show is mostly put on annually by
William Vouk, Sr., and his sons and neighbors, or as follows:

Mr. William Vouk, Sr., and Sons, furnish and run one 80 hp. Case
and one 65 hp. Case steam engine and one 35-70 Minneapolis and one
40-65 Twin City gas tractors and three grain separators, etc.:

Henry Lahr, of nearby St. Joe, Minnesota, was in charge of grain
threshing demonstrations and he furnished one 40 hp. Case steamer
and one hand feed grain separator;

Harley Eberhart of nearby St. Cloud showed his 45 hp. Case
steamer, belted to the lathe mill.

Joe Logas, of Buffalo, Minnesota, showed his 16 hp. Advance
steamer, belted to a 28 in. Huber Separator.

Walter Dehn, of Rogers, Minnesota, showed his 16 hp. Case
steamer and gave rides for the kids.

Oscar Anderson, of St. Cloud, Minnesota, operated the old time
blacksmith shop on the grounds, and the Legatt Brothers were in
charge of corn shredding;

Fred Fiedler, of St. Cloud, was the expert in charge of log and
lumber sawing by a big Case steamer;

John Goldsmith, of Amery, Wisconsin, showed several small gas
engines.

Ted McCann of LaCrosse, Wisconsin showed his scale model Double
Cylinder Steam Engine;

George Mochinski, of Winsted, Minnesota had his scale model
there, too.

William Vouk and Sons also showed their big stationary 480 hp.,
4-cylinder, upright steam engine or the power plant, formerly used
in the local St. Cloud hospital. They also showed and ran their big
35 hp. ‘Ingeco’ gas engine on wheels or horse drawn.

Summing up, there were eleven steamers and ten gas tractors in
operation. Three grain threshers were in daily operation threshing
grain bundles from ten stacks of grain, and of course, many
visitors helped pitch the bundles of grain into the grain separator
feeders for the thrill of it, while others watched the grain and
straw come out of it.

Three new big metal buildings have been built in the last years
to house the antique autos and trucks, other antiques, and farm
machinery exhibits.

This year, Mr. Vouk and Sons have bought and moved on to their
grounds a 100-year old two-story 30 X 20 log cabin home of
pioneers. This purchase, moving, and restoration will cost over
$5,000.00.

This is the threshing crew of Norman Gervais and sons. He
threshed in the 1920s in the area surrounding Grano, North Dakota.
The threshing crews followed him through the area going from farm
to farm. Picture taken September 1, 1928. The owners of the
threshing rig were relatives of the Philip Yerbick family who
reside at Puposky, Minnesota. Courtesy of Boy Kendall, 2505 Calihan
Avenue, Bemidji, Minnesota 56601

So you see that William Vouk and Sons are doing a worthwhile
work here in Central Minnesota. Their admission charges for this
Pioneer farm machinery show have always been reasonable. They are
also interested in preserving and showing how our pioneers lived.
Their show is both educational and entertaining and well run.

Golden agers and students are urged to attend. These shows,
whether called Steam and Gas Engine Shows, or Grain Threshing Bees,
are especially educational for farmers’ sons and agricultural
students. So I considered my day’s visit here well spent and I
plan to come again next year.

Farm Collector Magazine

Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment