Ontonagon County Fair

I.H.C. Victor engine

Mike Mahnke's 10 HP I.H.C. Victor, Bessemer, MI. Mike always brings an excellent display.

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100 Ark Road Mass City, Michigan 49948

The 1993 Ontonagon County Fair was held July 29, 30, 31 and August 1. This was the 18th year that there has been an engine display at the Fair.

It started back in 1976 when my dad, Claire Brunton, came to visit us at Fair time. He brought along a 11/2 HP Hercules that had been his father's. I had never seen it run until that time. My grandfather had purchased it about 1911 or 1912. It was used to run my grandmother's washing machine.

My neighbor, Alvin Kaurala and his brother, Bill, saw the engine and decided they should bring their 10 HP Mogul that had been purchased by their grandfather in 1914. It had been used to run a flour mill and shingle mill. The Kauralas still have the engine and flour mill and grind flour with it each year at the Fair.

Every year after that we usually had about 10 or 12 engines on display, usually from local residents. About four years ago we decided to get serious about our show and make it a major attraction of the Fair.

Ontonagon County is mainly rural, the third largest in land size yet is one of the least in population.

We find it difficult to attract a carnival and we needed a major attraction. The Engine and Tractor Show now does that. The 1993 show marked the first time we had a steam traction engine at the Fair; in fact, we had two

Advance Rumely 16 HP and a 1/4 scale Case 60 HP. We registered 53 exhibitors that displayed 32 tractors and about 70 engines, counting all the small ones; Maytags, chain saws, garden tractors, and etc.

Fourteen of the exhibitors were our neighbors from Wisconsin and two came from Indiana. The exhibitors received a unique copper plaque made from native Ontonagon copper. We thought this was very appropriate because this part of Michigan is known as the Copper Country. There were a number of working demonstrations taking place throughout the Fair in addition to our regular events, such as the tractor parade, slow race, tractor pull and pony pull.

We hope to see lots of new faces in 1994. If you choose to come and spend some time at our Fair we will make you feel welcome. Our Fair dates for 1994 are July 28, 29, 30 and 31.

By the way, the Hercules lives at my place now. My dad is 89 years old and makes it to our Fair each year.