1974 Show Report of the Riverbend Steam & Gas Association

1935 AR John Deere tractor on John Deere thresher

Jim Gutenberger

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R.R. 2, Zeeland, Michigan 49464

As I look out of the window and see the snow flakes gently falling to the ground, I realize that when this gets into print that it will be only five months until our 1975 show. Seven months have already gone by since our 1974 show. Time does fly!

As this is supposed to be report of our 1974 show, I would like to take you to the show grounds of the Riverbend Steam & Gas Ass'n, 10 miles west of Grand Rapids, Mich, on M-45. As we leave the busy expressway in the city of Grand Rapids, we travel west on M-45 thru some beautiful orchard country and rolling farm land. As we cross the Grand River we see the campus of Grand Valley State College. Soon we come to 56th Ave. and we see a sign directing us to the show grounds of the Riverbend Steam & Gas Ass'n. As we approach the tree-lined drive going back to the show grounds, we are met by the welcoming committee composed of one smiling Tom Rosema who is resting comfortably in a chair under the shade of a large tree. Tom had just returned from a stay in the hospital but insisted that he was able to take care of the tickets and to welcome our visitors, and a bang-up job he did.

As we leave our car in the parking lot we proceed on foot to the show grounds. The first display we come to are the small gasoline engines. The first engine we see is a 5 HP Galloway owned and beautifully restored by guest Steve Repta from Muskegon, Mich. Right next to Steve's engine we see a 5 HP Sattley exhibited by Steve's brother-in-law. I am sure these two engines did not look like this when they left the factory many years ago. As we go down the line we come to member Sharon Schut's display of engines and his Hocking Valley Corn Sheller which was being operated by one of Sharon's sons. Another son was operating the mill and some very fine corn meal was being made. Next to Sharon, member Claire Dalman had a trailer load of nicely restored engines and two larger engines on the ground. These engines were all being run at one time or another. Next we see guest Dave Babcock from Cass City with his display of engines. Then on down the line we see member Gordon Stroven's two sons with their display of John Deere Engines consisting of a 1-1/2 HP, 3 HP and a 6 HP plus Gordon's John Deere Model W stationary power unit.

My 1935 AR John Deere tractor on John Deere thresher. We threshed 2800 bushels of oats this year with the outfit.

Courtesy of Jim Gutenberger, R.R. 1, Colby, Wisconsin 54421.

As we travel on we come to the big tent where the wives of the club members are displaying their craft work and are busy making some delicious homemade ice cream, plus making soap and tying a quilt.

We will now cross over the foot bridge and to the food tent for some coffee and a sandwich. The food tent is being taken care of by the ladies from one of the local churches. I must say their food was delicious.

After a short rest under the trees we go back across the bridge and over to the saw mill. Chief engineer, John Huitema had his 30-50 Oil Pull belted up to the mill and Head Sawyer Lee Scholma was about to send the big saw through a large maple log. Saw tender, Roger Kuyers, was neatly stacking the maple boards as they came from the saw. John had his 20-40 Oil Pull standing by just in case.

As we move on we stop at the shingle mill being run by Sharon Schut. As the shingles came out from the mill they were being branded with the club's name, and were sold for 25 cents each. It added a little money to the kitty (you know).

And now over to the threshing. Here we see member Herm Wolcott with his 16 HP Peerless steamer belted up to his Allis Chalmers thresher, and member Bud Rosema with his 15-30 Oil Pull belted up to his 28' Rumely thresher. Member Jay Bouwer's 18 HP Baker was on hand waiting its turn on the Rumely thresher. Other threshers on hand were Claude Scholma's 28' McDeering, Tom Rosema's 22' Red River Special and Sharon's hand feed Sterling Thresher. Also on hand was Claude's Birdsell Clover Huller and a hand feed wire-tie baler powered by a 6 HP Russell portable streamer built in 1890, owned by member Steve Hinebeck. Steve is one of the younger members of our club who has been absent for two years doing a job for Uncle Sam, but now that his stint is over we expect great things from Steve.

Flour was being milled on Claude's 110 year old stone mill powered by guest Gordon Babbitt's 15 HP FBM engine. Head miller was guest Frank Moll.

Also on display was a John Deere B.O. crawler, Mfg. by the Linder man Co., Yakima, Washington, early 1940 and a 25 HP side shaft Superior which was blowing big smoke rings skyward.

Then as we go to look at some of the models we see a very fine model Oil Pull and a scale model Alamo engine exhibited by guest Pete Lanchniet from Grand Rapids, Mich. Next a scale Case Steamer exhibited by Steve Marusek of Vicksburg, Mich., and a scale model threshing outfit exhibited by Jack Norbak of Coplay, Pa.

Old tractors (just to mention a few) on hand were a Huber 40-62, A.C. 20-35, Cross-Mount Minn. 28 44, Cross-Mount Case 15-27, 15-30 Mc-Deering, 10-20 Titan, Cross Mount Huber Super 4 and several John Deere model D's including an outstanding D Spoker shown by guest Roy Waechter of Carleton, Mich.

Last but not least, we must mention the two teams of fine horses and one nice team of mules, which furnished rides both days of the show for the kiddies. Approximately 8 acres of wheat was threshed which had been cut with a horse drawn binder, shocked and stacked by the club members.

So we come to the end of the show, and as the last of guests were slowly leaving, a cry of 'chows on' was heard, as all of the club members gathered at the big tent, with the sun slowly sinking behind the trees in the west. As grace was said we all pitched in to an old fashioned thresher meal.

Big oak really makes 1915 Rumely 'E' go to work. Strathmore team at mill. Far left is my son, David.

Courtesy of Alexander Mac Arthur, Route 1, Box 204, Algonquin, Illinois 60102 GF-75

It was a fitting close to a very successful show. We thank the Lord for the two days of beautiful weather and for keeping our show free from all accidents. We would like to thank all those who came to look and stayed to visit a while. We wish to thank all those who contributed so generously of their time and talent to make the 1974 show a success. A special word of thanks to the guests who took the time and brought their equipment to our show. Their contributions were so very much appreciated. A word of thanks goes to neighbor John VanHuisen for the use of his land for our small engine display and member Claude Scholma for the use of his land for threshing and display of larger equipment. Plans for 1975 are underway with plans of more equipment displays and plenty of action. Show date July 25 and 26, same place. First day of show to run till dark, second day until 6 p.m., 'You all Come!'