Archived Story

Thresherman’s show starts Friday

Published 11:03am Thursday, September 8, 2011 Updated 11:04am Thursday, September 8, 2011

Over the years thresher shows in Minnesota, Dalton included, realized they needed to add activities and exhibits to draw people in all walks of life. They realized that the draw needed to include much more than thresher machines.

People of all ages who come this weekend to the Lake Region Pioneer Threshermen’s Association Annual Show in Dalton will see exhibits from model train railroading to toy displays to homemaker displays and demonstrations. This is in addition to the regular events such as the Parade of Giants at 1:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Threshing with both gas tractors and steam engines is a big attraction at each show. Plowing with a 10 bottom John Deere plow is also fun to watch. People enjoy taking a free ride on the train pulled by a World War I French locomotive.

Large steam engines at the Dalton site go back 100 years. The blacksmith shop attracts people who see pouring of castings with many old tools in operation. Lots of wood goes through the sawmill each day.

This weekend marks the 58th annual show. Special features will include logging equipment and foreign built tractors.

Old-timers will enjoy taking close looks at 20 traction steam engines, two large stationary steam engines, one of which has a 25-foot diameter flywheel and weighs in excess of 100 tons, a full size narrow gauge steam locomotive, hundreds of tractors including all major brands as well as Rumely Oil Pulls and other prairie tractors.

Many stationary and portable gas engines also grab the attention of visitors to the annual show in Dalton. Those with a sense of farm history will enjoy viewing the 150 and 75HP diesel powered Fair Banks Morse engines.

In 1954, brothers George and Ralph Melby, along with their nephew Kenneth Bratvold decided to harvest some of their grain the old fanshioned way, or threshing. Even with no advertising, around 500 spectators arrived. Since the show was a success, an annual event was made of it.

Dalton thresher railroad

provides some extras

The railroad at this year’s Lake Region Pioneer Threshermen’s Association weekend show in Dalton will provide a couple of extras for visitors.

On Saturday, railroad historian Norman Priebe from Alexandria will talk about steam locomotives of the Great Northern Railway, with passages from his new book. He will visit the Association’s former Great Northern depot between 1 and 3 p.m. to talk railroads and will have the 544-page, $50, book available for sale.

On Sunday the depot will host The Baggage Room Boys who will perform railroad songs after the 1 p.m. parade. Bob Johnson and the six-member group have collected a wide variety of railroad-themed pieces, and are now in their 6th year of “picking and singing” in the depot’s baggage room.

As usual, the 1914 railway locomotive “Milton Martinson” will be steaming around the half-mile circle of track, providing free rides for rail fans young and old. The 1886 depot has gotten a fresh coat of paint both inside and out, so the railroad is ready for visitors come opening day on Friday.

Admission to the annual LRPTA “Steam Show” in Dalton with its 100s of attractions is $8 for adults, with children 12 and under admitted free.

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