| March/April 1974

Water Wheels

Courtesy Robert Rogers - FARM MUSEUM - Dillon, S. C.

Robert Rogers

R.R.2 , Zeeland, Michigan 49464

The 5th Annual Gas-Up of the Riverbend Steam and Gas Ass'n was held July 3 and 4 at Allendale Michigan in conjunction with the 125th anniversary of the little town of Allendale, midway between Grand Rapids and Lake Michigan. As the date was almost a full month ahead of regular show time, it was doubtful for a little while if we would have grain to thresh. But nature has a way of being on time and there was barley ready by July 1, so plans were made to start moving machinery into the park on July 2 and load some barley and haul it in, but on the afternoon of the 2nd as the barley was being loaded the sky opened up and down came the rain. Two loads were hurriedly put under cover and we went home for some dry clothes.

July 3rd saw a lot of long faces at the park as it was still sprinkling and the weather man said more of the same, but by 10:00 o'clock the sun came out and everybody started to cheer, and by 3:00 o'clock everything was in full swing.

One small hitch developed as one of the old Steamers sprouted a leak in the ask pit, so she was shut down and drained. One of the club members was prevailed upon to go and get his portable welder and crawl in the inners of the boiler and put on a temporary patch and soon the old girl was back on the sawmill working away as if nothing had ever happened. Her name was 'Advance-Rumley' and owned by Jay Bowers (club member).

A Shingle Mill owned by Sharon Schut and powered by a 7 H. P. engine owned by club member Tom Rosema also was operating. Bud Rosema had his 15-30 Oil Pull on the Baker Fan, and after a session on the fan, over to the sawmill to make the saw just ring. At the same time club member John Huitema had his 30-50 Oil Pull on the thresher and she was doing her share there. After John unbelted and backed away, club member Gordon Stroven was waiting to belt up his 20-40 Oil Pull. In the meantime Tom Rosema's Int. Titan was on an old hand-feed and hand-tie baler owned by club members Claude Scholma and son, Lee, and Boy were those bales heavy. I think some of them were over 100 lbs. not to Be out done. Sharon Schut had his old hand feed Sterling thresher going (Vintage 1900) powered by a 6 h.p. screen cooled Int. 1905. Sharon also had a Hocking Valley Sheller going powered by a 2-1/2 h.p. Stover.

One of the oldest pieces of equipment was a horse powered sweep belted up to a Owens #4 double cyl. bean thresher. Owner Bud Rosema was to be complimented on his ability to find beans to thresh. When the horses were taken off a group of young people took over and furnished the power for a while.