1972 Butterfield Steam & Gas Engine Show

7 HP Witte Engine

Courtesy of Bill Paulson, Butterfield Advocate Newspaper, Butterfield, Minnesota 56120

Bill Paulson

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Butterfield Advocate, Butterfield, Minnesota 56120

Temperatures hovered around the 90 degree mark over the weekend, but the heat didn't dampen the spirits of the Butterfield Threshermen as they put on a bigger and better Gas & Steam Engine Show than ever before. Both in quality and quantity there was no doubt the sixth show was the best.

Gate receipts were off from last year's huge throng, but Wayne Kispert, Butterfield Threshermen's Assn. president, blamed this on a combination of the heat and three county fairs in the area. 'It was a great show,' Kispert bubbled. Then he poured accolades on Butterfield area residents for the fine cooperation which again made the whole thing possible.

By his own estimation, Kispert says exhibits increased between 10 and 15 percent over 1971. In antique tractors alone he noted the collection increased from just over 50 in 1971 to 64 last weekend. All were new tractors never before shown in Butterfield and most were just recently restored.

Almost as gratifying, Kispert said, was the big cleanup crew which was at work Monday night after the show turning Voss Park back into the beautiful area it is

As for the show itself, no doubt the new additions added quite a bit in both convenience and comfort to exhibitors as well as visitors. Engine House No. 2, constructed within the last month, housed a burgeoning collection of antique cars and trucks. Joel Knudson, director of the display, said he was amazed at the new exhibitors who brought antique cars and trucks, many of whom he didn't know were coming. And they were unanimous in their praise of the huge shed which allowed them to leave their valuable antiques overnight without worry.

The concrete floor in Engine House No. I was a welcome addition to the ladies who spent hours constructing antique exhibits. Everything from an old fashioned bedroom to Bohemian lace work (knipple sac) and antique dolls were on display and the big House was packed almost constantly both days.

Saturday's heat cut down on some of the threshing activity because bundle pitchers were hard to come by. That didn't stop the threshing, however; just slowed it down a bit. Sunday, when a nice breeze breathed air through the Park, it was much more enjoyable for both the threshers and visitors.

The best part about Voss Park is that you don't have to be in the sun to see what's going on. The shady grove of ash trees provided an ideal escape from the hot sun as well as fine cover for the numerous displays, eat stands and just paint resting.

Elvin and Torger Sulheim are two Association members who spend long hours restoring gas engines. Here they are shown with a 1/2 HP Plunkett Jr. they restored for Jacob H. Janzen of Roosevelt.

Threshing the 20 acres of oats was no problem at all, with as many as four rigs running at the same time if you include the miniatures. And for those who are interested, the 20 acres yielded 1100 bushels of oats minus one wagon of bundles which is headed for Farm Fest USA at Vernon Center next month.

If the threshing machines didn't cause any problems, the steamers did. Of the six large steam engines at the show, only three did any real work because of an assortment of ills which beset the other three ancient giants. But there were all sorts of tractors to take up the slack, and tractor power was not in short supply.

This 7 HP Witte engine was restored by the Sulheims. It is owned by Sam Wisner of Silver Bay.

This is an engine found by Leonard Hanson near Sheldon, Wisconsin. It is a 10 HP twin cylinder LeRoy. The Sulheims restored it.

WCCO-TV, which gave the show a plug on Friday night, sent a cameraman down Sunday afternoon to give the show full treatment, televisionwise. The GOP convention dominated both the 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts, but short shots of the Butterfield Threshing Bee were intermingled among the politicians with enough skill to make viewers realize that not all the hot steam was in Miami.

The TV coverage for the second straight year pointed out how the Butterfield show has grown in stature among state and midwest - even national - attractions. Visitors came from as far away as Washington state and Kansas specifically to see the Threshing Bee and one only had to walk through the jam packed camp grounds to notice a multitude of license plates from other states.

A total of 117 campers -- including some exhibitors given free spots -enjoyed the Voss Park shade and facilities making the camping aspect of the show one of its major attractions.

Exhibitors came from far and near to attend and show their antique favorites. Iowa was especially strong on exhibiting, sending a variety of displays which ran from gas engines to a scale catapillar called the 'Mighty Mouse' that actually ran.

But of course it was the area folks who really made the show. More and more local folks are getting interested in having some sort of mechanized antique on display, which means more tractors, gas engines and farm implements, especially, were on the increase.

60 Cat is the second one restored by the Minions of Mt. Lake

Ben Bloemke's 30-60 Aultman-Taylor at the Butterfield Show.

Orville Huhnerkoch's Rumely doesn't seem to be bothering this small lad.