The Butterfield Advocate Butterfield, Minnesota 56120
The Butterfield Threshermen's
The Butterfield Threshermen's Association (Butterfield, Minn.) hosted its fourth annual Steam and Gas Engine Show the weekend of Aug. 15-16, 1970 under bright sunny skies.
The crowd saw the beginning of a pioneer village along with the usual machinery activity. A rural school and a historic church were added to the wooded lakeside Bee site, with plans to continue adding historical buildings from year to year.
But the news was the machinery. Over 20,000 enjoyed the Butterfield weekend show and they saw expansion of both the steam and gas tractor exhi-hits. Joe Steinhagen of Dodge Center, Minn. ran his 1924 - 24 hp. Ferdinand Kitten, as well as his 1902 - 18 hp. Huber, two real collector's items. Lloyd Belden of Cottage Grove, Minn. was another new exhibitor operating two beautifully conditioned Case steamers, one 40 hp. and one 50 hp.
Gas tractors have always been a top draw at the Butterfield Show. Our motto is not to exhibit a machine unless it's restored and running, and this was again the case in 1970. Over 50 tractors chugged during the show, and among special note were the addition of Art & Dave Buhler's huge 35-70 Minneapolis and Ben Bloemke's 30-60 Aultman-Taylor.
The wood exhibit continued to be of top interest in what seemed like a continuous tither of activity. When a steamer or gas tractor wasn't running the saw mill, spectators could watch a planer, shingle mill, lath mill, circle saws or one of three wood choppers.
Literally hundreds of gas engines, big and small, chugged through the two days. Two of the rarest were Ole Lund-berg's 6-hp. Kansas City Lightning manufactured in 1902 and Ed Streich's 1905 7-hp. inverted Hart-Parr. The Lightning is a single cylinder, 4-cycle engine of opposed piston. But they were just two of many, and all were running!
Threshing, of course, was always an attraction during the show, and the steamers and gas tractors drove a variety of separators, from John Buschena's 1880 all wood Case to Art Ommodt's 36x58 Minneapolis with wing feeders. Scale models included the popular Avery separator built by Gerrit Havelaar of Hudson, S. D. powered by Ted Lang's half-scale Case.
Warren Shank of Millersville, Pennsylvania, took his broom-making equipment and his very good miniature working model gas engine to Florida at the Haines City show in March 1971.
Lang presented another first during the show, too. Both afternoons he fired his 2/3rd scale of a civil war cannon which he built during 1968-69.
Perhaps the most interesting new exhibit, especially for the kids, was Max Borchert's hand-made locomotive which he called a mini-train. The steam engine, pulling four passenger cars, gave rides throughout the show and promises to be a top attraction for years to come.
Special displays, as in past years, were a favorite with the women. Not only could you watch lefse being made over an old cook stove (and eaten too!), rope being made, cotton being spun and carded, but you could see collections of antiques, wrenches, buttons, as well as early implements like the hand-powered corn shellers.
It was a great weekend of fun which promises to be even better on Aug. 14-15, 1971. A campground on the show site is being developed for distant travelers (and there were over 40 campers in 1970) to make the show a pleasant memory. Add to that the convenience of shaded food stands, rest stops and the cool lake breezes and you have an event which would be fun for the whole family. We hope you'll visit Butterfield this summer!