WESTERN MINNESOTA STEAM THRESHERS

Hawley, Minnesota

Greetings to all members & friends of the Western Minnesota
Steam Threshers and to all steam threshers everywhere. Another year
and another reunion is now history and memories. For us at Rollag,
Minnesota, 1963 was a good year and we had a great reunion. More
people came to our four day festivities this year than ever before
and there were more exhibits and more action and everybody seemed
happy to be there.

For those of us who try to do our part in making these reunions
worthwhile, this is most gratifying. Aside from being our greatest
reunion at Rollag; 1963 saw the completion of two new buildings
under the supervision of Lawrence Fisch, one of our directors.

One of these buildings was used by two Ladies Aids for a dining
hall, while the other one, a forty by eighty structure housed the
antique cars brought in by the Fargo Moorhead Antique Car Club. For
this addition to the show we are thankful to Sid Blakeway, a member
of the club and we hope it will be a regular feature at our
reunions from now on.

We enjoyed four days of nice weather at our show and the
attendance increased each day and broke all records on Sunday, the
last day when an estimated thirty thousand people viewed the
event.

Robert Moe, who again brought his buses there, to bring the
people to and from the out lying parking areas reported they were
so busy, they hardly had time to eat.

Another big project last year, was the clearing of a timberland
called the Neperud Trail, through the woods around the building
area. This greatly increased our parade route and made it more
interesting as the smoke from the old engines curled up through the
overhanging branches. The clearing of this trail was spearheaded by
John Neperud, N. B. Nelson And Ellsward Grahn with several other
local members helping out. More clearing will be done along this
trail this year to give the people a better view of the parade as
it passes through.

All the proud old steamers and their engineers were in the act
again this year; along with dozens of gas tractors of all sizes,
makes and descriptions. Elmer Larson, had about a dozen on display
and all beautifully restored and in action. Miniatureland attracted
its share of attention with attention with threshing rigs, sawmills
and railroading, all in action.

Out on the field, we threshed 15 stacks of grain hauled in by
Leonard and N. B. Nelson and scores of logs were sawed into lumber
and some of it run through the planning mill while some was
processed into laths in the lath mill, all owned and operated by
Ellsward Grahn. John Neperud was kept busy sawing shingles on his
shingle mill and they all went for souvenirs.

Our Saturday evening entertainment was well attended and of good
quality and as usual headed by our ingenious Orville Ellingson.

It will be hard to improve on a show like we had this year, but
our president, Stanley Ellingson is always looking for more
interesting exhibits, sol believe we can look forward to bigger and
better reunions each year.

Much of the effort of the thresher-men this season will be
directed to the building of a museum on the grounds. This structure
will be made of logs with a fireplace at one end so it can be used
as a comfortable meeting place for the members of the organization.
Last fall, Grahn and Frisk accompanied me on an excursion into the
tall timber country of northern Minnesota where we contracted a
firm that was able to supply the logs for this building, and they
have probably arrived on the grounds by this time.

As it must to all men come, sooner or later, death come to one
of our charter members and a former vice-president, Carl C. Johnson
of Lake Park, Minnesota. He died last fall, after a lingering
illness. Mr. Johnson enjoyed the reunions very much and his morale
and material support can not be overestimated. He was not able to
attend the last one, but sent his greetings through Pastor Virgil
Anderson, who spoke the sermon at our Sunday morning divine
service.

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