21321 County Road, X Cadott, Wisconsin 54727
Nestled in the woods of northeastern Wisconsin is the small, friendly town of Eagle River, population 1,374, with its rich history of logging, past and present. In the summer, fishing, camping, and just the beauty of the area attract visitors from all over. In the winter, snowmobilers and cross-country skiers invade the area to take on the many trails. Eagle River is also the home of the World Championship Snowmobile Derby and the Eagle River Steam and Gas Engine Club.
We're a small club with fewer than 100 members, but we have heart! Our 10th annual show was held June 11, 12 and 13, 1999 at the beautiful Pine-Aire Resort, just two miles north of Eagle River, as it is every year. We hoped this to be our best show to date and we were NOT disappointed! During the three-day event we had 118 registered exhibitors, 100-plus gas engines, around 60 tractors, two steam engines, and many other fine exhibits that amazed the many people who attended. The weather was outstanding!
Exhibitors traveled many miles to show off their collection, from such places as Missouri, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan, and all over Wisconsin. The 1904 Appleton drag saw, owned by Wayne Mattson of Chetek, Wisconsin, was a big hit, along with the ? scale model of a 110 HP Best steam engine, owned by John and Bill Drumm of Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Harry Munson from Red Wing, Minnesota, brought a trailer of rare Red Wing Thorobred marine engines. Mike Mahnke's newly restored International corn sheller kept him and Ellis Wendt busy all weekend. There were also some very rare outboard motors, some beautiful engine models, and a blacksmith who let the people try their hand at being a 'smithy.' There was also Russian Van Denev M3, 110 HP engine on display. A craft show and flea market were there for people to buy unique items or treasures. On Sunday, the Charlie Rogers Good-Old-Time Band provided some great polka music.
Pine-Aire Resort owners Ron and Cindy Meinhoz, along with head chef, son Jason, provided the fine food that was available at the Logging Camp Kitchen, and the Cranberry Jubilee sundaes, made outdoors, went over very well. A plaque and free camping (electricity extra) was provided for exhibitors.
One of the highlights of this year's show was the Hartford RATS (Restored Antique Tractors). They are a Milwaukee-area club that drove their tractors on the 500-mile round trip to our show to raise money for 17-year-old Sara Ubele. Our two clubs worked together for several months to pull this off. Sara was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was three months old. She is very well liked in the Hartford area and was crowned this year's Prom Queen. The morning before the prom, Sara's family got a call that donor lungs had been found and to have her ready. She would've gladly missed the prom for this, but it was not to be. The hospital called later that day and said the lungs had been too damaged and could not be used--Sara cried herself to sleep that night. One of her lungs is almost gone and the other is deteriorating rapidly.
The Hartford RATS started with 11 tractors, and 10 made the three-day trip to Eagle River. They raised over $3,000 in donations on the way to our show, which surpassed all expectations, and they hoped to raise more on the trip back. Each of these devoted, caring people gave their vacation time for this trip. Eagle River Club members, along with a few others, met them in town and a small parade was held through downtown Eagle River late Friday afternoon. On Sunday, we presented them with a check for $1,000 for Sara. Many tears were shed during the presentation. Over $47,000 has been raised for Sara, the bulk of it by the RATS, and much more is needed. If anyone would like to make a donation, please send it to: Fighting For Life, c/o First National Bank, 116 W. Summer Street, Hartford, WI 53027. From the Hartford RATS, the Eagle River Steam and Gas Engine Club and especially Sara, we say Thank You!
Be sure to watch next year's Show Directory and GEM issues for our show date in June 2000, or write to: Eagle River Antique Steam and Gas Engine Club, c/o Pine-Aire Resort, 4443 Chain O'Lakes Road, Eagle River, WI 54521. We would love to see you there!