Highway 63 Spring Valley, Minnesota 55975
AND A GOOD TIME WAS HAD BY ALL!' Those were the sentiments of all who attended the 12th annual Gas Engine and Tractor Show of the Root River Antique Historical Power Association, Inc. of rural Spring Valley, Minnesota.
Even the rain that fell a good part of the first Saturday of the show couldn't dampen the spirits of the members and friends who gathered for the two-weekend event (yes, TWO weekends!).
The recently reorganized club does seem to have gotten a 'shot in the arm,' and enthusiasm is running high. .One reason is the new setting for their annual eventthe 100-acre shared site of the Association and the Deer Creek Campground, located in southern Minnesota, 20 miles south of Rochester.
This change took place in May, and the members had a little over two months to build a tractor pull track and lighting for their two Friday night pulls (pullers say it's the best in the area!), clear some woods for a new road into the property, refurbish several smaller structures, including snack bars and the stage for the all-day entertainment. Add this to moving in and restoring the antique sawmill which had just been donated by a local family, and converting an old granary into a turn-of-the-century 'farmhouse' for the ladies of the club to furnish with antiques and demonstrate the old-time crafts. All this, and the actual setting up for the show didn't even take place until the last week or so! But it all came together with the help of some hard-working members keep in mind, most of those workers have other jobs, own small businesses, work at Mayo Clinic, or farm, and this all has to fit into their busy work schedules. Even the Army came to the rescue! The local Army recruiter furnished two large tents to shelter some of the show's demonstrations (spinning, weaving, rosemaling), and registration/membership and souvenirs.
Some of the demonstrations included the completed sawmill (yes, it was finished in time!), planer, shingle mill, Prony brake, rock crushing, and steam-powered threshing; plus all the gas engines among the shade trees, tractors, and some great exhibits brought in by participants. As usual, the tractor parade was a favorite, as were the crafts, antiques, and flea market.
Members are already planning next year's show, and as the word spread, there's only one way to go (make that two ways to grow): BIGGER AND BETTER!