| September/October 1980

A chat of five men over coffee in a Culbertson restaurant led to the start of the Northeastern Montana Threshers and Antique Association, about 17 years ago.

As the quintet discussed shows they had seen, they decided to see if they could get 12 or 15 old tractors together and put on 'a little show' of their own.

Sterling McKinney, the local Ford dealer, was elected president. E. A. 'Nute' Anklam, who was in the Postal Service and later became Postmaster, was named secretary. McKinney continues as president, but retired from the auto dealership. Anklam retired from the secretary post because of his wife's illness, but continues his interest in the club.

The progress made by the group is indicated by the 100 units running in the parade at the 16th annual Threshing Bee and Antique Show in 1979. Attendance was estimated by Anklam at between 3,500 and 4,000 during the two days. Considering the normal size of Culbertson-about 1,000-that brings in a lot of visitors.

Montana magazine, published in Helena, calls the show the biggest fall tourist attraction in northeast Montana. The club claims the largest display of engines and equipment in the Northwest.

Members include many father-son teams. Old engines that looked like junk-heap material were restored through the know-how and the persistence of the membership. Some of the pieces are now owned by the organization; some by members, and some are there on contract with the understanding that the club will fix them up and keep them in the show for at least 10 years.