This sign says it all: the only remains of Heatwole are the one room school house and the creamery.
RR #3, Box 184, Valley Center, Kansas, 67147
You probably won't find it on any maps and if you blink you will more than likely miss the school and creamery which are the only two remaining buildings that give a clue to Heatwole's whereabouts. However, once a year something wonderful happens to this community. The first word on the sign you see is 'WELCOME' and they go all out to make sure you are welcome. It was a special treat for me to be back in Heatwole, because it was were I was born and raised and I attended school for 6 years in the school pictured in the photo.
Tom and I had been in Kansas for close to 20 years and getting back to Minnesota for the local steam show was something we had always talked about. It seems we get so involved with our own annual show after all, we can always go NEXT year. This past spring Tom purchased a 1963 'B' model Mack which meant we now had a method of transporting our engines. The decision was made that 1987 was the year to head North. It was great to be with family and friends and be able to contribute to their show. It was also great that at the end of the day's activities we could go to my sister's air conditioned house and let someone else worry about trash pickup, parking, whether or not there would be enough ice, pop, food, etc. for everyone the next day!
Tom and Lois Terning arrive at Heat wole, MN for the steam show. 'Big Mack' brought a scale Ca 65, a 40 HP Case plus Foden steam truck from Kansas.
There are so very many people that work hard to make Heatwole Threshing Days a success. Their ice cream parlor was in full operation. After allice cream is the main staple in everyone's diet in Minnesota. A recently built blacksmith shop which was also in full operation was a real attention getter as well. Daryl Henke was busy making shingles on the shingle mill he built. Daryl's wife, Barb, could be seen only if one looked quickly as she was busy coordinating activities. Bill Wester holm and his wife Alice Mae were also seen in more than one place at one time.
The original log cabin came complete with a fully functional wood burning stove. The Butch Olson family took charge of this cabin. The entire day the wood stove was burning and wonderful smells kept coming from it. Samples of Johnny bread, applesauce, egg coffee and bear meat could be sampled. Yes it was bear meat. You see, Butch and son Curt, are avid hunters and one never knows what his wife Karen and daughter Anissa will cook up. Donations are taken to help with the expenses. An air conditioner would be great but not much in keeping with the theme. All one had to do was step into this cabin to fully appreciate the enormous amount of work our ancestors went through to raise a family with no modern conveniences.
There are many, many activities for the ladies. They have a fantastic style show. Community members go all out to locate garments worn by ancestors. Models are located and the result is a most enjoyable style show. Quilt displays and quilting demonstrations, candle making, country store, homemade baked goods, plus much more for everyone to enjoy are all housed in a new building.
Dick Bard of Canton, SD proudly shows his scale Case; Butch Olson and Jerry Wright operate a 40 HP Case at the Heatwole Threshing Days last summer.
I he tractor pull is always a favorite with many people. There seemed to be an endless supply of beautifully restored tractors of every make to pull the sled. The daily parade gave everyone a chance to be recognized. In this Scandanavian community there appeared to be no food shortage. Besides the usual hot dogs, hamburgers, etc., there were pork chop dinners, chicken dinners, wonderful pancakes and sausage for breakfast and, of course, ice cream for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Elmer Howe, from Hutchinson, Minnesota, brought his beautiful team of horses and wagon and provided rides for all who desired them. As a special treat he entertained the passengers with his accordion while managing to keep control of the horses.
I have just scratched the surface of activities. By the way, Heatwole is just a few miles from Hutchinson, Minnesota, which can be readily located on a map. Bob Elliot of Hutchinson is the present president of the Heatwole Threshing Association., He can be reached at (612) 587-5250 for the 1988 show dates. It has been the first weekend in August other years but check with Bob.
Providing all goes as planned, we are planning on once again heading the Mack towards Heatwole this coming summer. Why not make plans to be there as well?