Miniature Engine Collector

By Staff
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This photo is of the first Miniatureland of 74-year old John Barklow.

317 W. Locust St. St. Peter, MN 56082

In 1979, I joined the LeSueur County Pioneer Power Association.
I had one gas engine Pd bought and restored. It was a 1? HP. By
show time, I had a 1? HP John Deere Pd found in a friend’s
chicken house all chicken tar and feathers. I gave it a bath and
had it running in time for the show.

After one show loading those two engines I decided they were too
heavy for me to handle. I had just retired from my truck driving
job and have a weak back.

I am not an engineer or a tool and die maker so I decided to
find something smaller. My son John Jr. is a tool and die man so he
said, ‘let’s build some miniatures.’ So I said to him,
‘if you build some, I’ll buy some.’ He started and
built a miniature Associated (Little Brother) air cooled
engine.

I bought a Coles engine. Then I bought an Associated (Little
Brother) air cooled.

Prior to the shows and the first D-40, my son bought me a toy
steam tractor and he bought the stationary steam engine D-20.and
the workshop M56 (Wilesco) all on page 55, April . issue of
GEM.

We kept building and buying until 1973. I asked the officers of
the LeSueur County Pioneer Assn. for a small building to exhibit.
And before I knew it they had a 16 x 20 foot building for us.

We filled that building to the rafters the first year. And I
said rafters because a train collecting friend came to me and asked
how we would like to build shelves and put toy trains up above the
doors and windows. We made a shelf wide enough to run two trains,
one each direction. What an attraction that was!

In the 1974 show we moved all steam engines upon tables and
moved all gas engines outside under a lean-to under a canvas tarp.
Before this show, in August of 1974, I wrote to a lot of friends
I’d met (by going to swap meets and shows) and invited them to
come and bring their miniature gas, steam and hot air engines to
our Miniature Land at the LeSueur Pioneer Power Show. The response
was unbelievable. We had 40 steam engines of all descriptions and
50 to 60 miniature gas engines from the single cylinder Hit &
Miss to Model V 8’s, V 4 airplane engines of all sizes under
our outside lean-to.

To speed this up, I’d like to say I sent out more letters
and more friends came and brought more miniatures. In 1986 we had
50 to 60 working model steam engines, over 100 working model gas
engines. Also, in 1986 we added a 17 x 34 foot old granary to our
Miniatureland. In this building we expanded to model horse-drawn
farm equipment.

One of our model builders built a miniature saw mill. We had a
sales-mans sample of an old time slat grain elevator, one lady
friend has collected miniature sewing machines, all of this filled
our new 17 x 34 foot building.

On this last building, (it was moved in off a cement floor) it
gave us one of the greatest restoration jobs most of us have ever
undertaken. It needed a new roof completely, floor joists,
flooring, the side wall studs were native lumber and no two were
the same width. We restored it completely by using lumber salvaged
out of old barns, granaries, and the only thing we bought was 25
sheets of particle board for the side walls.

Now as Manager of Miniatureland I claim our show, the LeSueur
County Pioneer Power, has the largest collection of operating
miniatures of all kinds, steam gas, hot air and trains.

Our 14th annual show dates this year are August 28, 29 30 1987.
Location: 6 miles east of LeSueur MN on County Road 26. East of
Montgomery MN on County Road 26, and 8 miles north and 1? miles
east of Cleveland MN. My son and I have a great collection of
miniatures.

I’d like to hear from you and any minature builders.

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