WMSTR: 25 Years

| November/December 1979

WMSTR, Secretary Hawley, Minnesota 56549

Steamers line up for the annual boiler inspection. Gilmer Olson, Twin Valley, Minnesota, explains some engine workings to his young helpers.

Since the first Reunion held on October 2, 1954, Western Minnesota Steam Threshers, of Rollag, Minnesota has come a long way. Thinking back, we marvel at how quickly a quarter of a century passes by from the 3,000 people that attended the first show to the 20,000 that came to help us celebrate our 25th show.

The first show had a working display of 4 steam engines, 2 separators and several 'model steamers.' Today the number of steam engines has grown to 20, along with many threshing machines, countless gas tractors and engines, and a large miniature land complete with a scale railroad. In fact, today's parade of engines, tractors and vintage cars lasts nearly two hours.

Future reunions continued to attract interested individuals who brought with them gas engines, tractors, saw, shingle and lathe mills, two large Corlis stationary engines and a steam forge hammer. In 1977, a full size steam locomotive was purchased by the association. Recently two box cars, a caboose and a coal car were added to the 'rolling stock.'

WMSTR soon began to run out of room for the constantly growing number of exhibits. More land was needed for the railroad project and for campground parking.