11150 W. Idaho Ave., Lakewood, Colorado 80226
It was a close encounter of another kind September 23 & 24, 1989 when collectors gathered at Hulett, Wyoming near the Devil's Tower National Monument where the movie 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' was filmed some years ago. The event was the first-ever Northeastern Wyoming Antique Engine and Tractor Show. All those present experienced a close encounter with engines, vehicles, and tractors used by grandparents and great-grandparents.
Effie Jolly showed her 1955 Ford. This was much to the delight of those individuals who were her students in a one room country school the year she purchased this car. Many were the stories students and teacher shared. The car is original and has not been restored. Young people took part and learned all they could from those who had used the antique equipment; some even showed items themselves. Anita Peterson, daughter of Terry Peterson, showed off a 1951 John Deere Model A with a 2 row corn cultivator. Terry showed a 1941 Chevrolet 3/4 ton pickup.
John Wolfskill, organizer of the show and the individual who worked hard to keep the show going, intrigued many with his 1933 Curtis & Co. shingle mill. This mill was built by Perkins & Company of Grand Rapids, Michigan for Curtis & Company. Wolfskill purchased the mill in 1939. Ponderosa pine and eastern cottonwood timber were used for cutting shingles. There are sheds, barns, and maybe even houses near Devil's Tower that still retain some of the shingles cut on this mill.
The tractor powering this shingle mill is a 1928 Farmall Regular. An interesting note: a lot of paint scraping was done on this tractor and no gray paint was ever found, so it was repainted red. Is it possible that some Regulars were never painted gray?
One of the newest machines shown was a portable sawmill owned and operated by Utah Marshall. This saw is powered by an air-cooled Volkswagen engine; motor and saw travel instead of the log. The predominant species of sawlog timber in the area is Black Hills Ponderosa pine. Utah uses this mill for custom sawing on private tracts.
The most common words heard, other than 'ooh' and 'aah,' were: 'I have an old (engine), (car), (tractor) at home which I'll bet I could fix up and show.' If 50% of these comments are followed up, next year's show will be quite an encounter.