2222 92nd Street, Byron Center, Michigan 49315
The 'thump-thump' of Oil Pulls was a common sound and the color of Persian orange was a common sight, as the 1998 Riverbend Steam and Gas Show featured the Rumely and Allis-Chalmers line of tractors and equipment.
It looked like a Rumely convention with all those OilPulls lined up in a neat row. We had 15 OilPull tractors here, plus two Rumely six's, two model Oil-Pulls, and a Rumely Ideal thresher. It certainly had to be the largest assembly of Rumely equipment in Michigan in 1998. These tractors were kept busy during the show belted to the sawmill, the Baker fan, the threshers, and even pulling at the tractor pull.
The following people had Rumely equipment at this show: John Huitema of Grandville, Michigan, with his 1926 30-50Yand 1919 20-40G; Bud Rosema of Allendale, Michigan, a 1914 15-30F, 16-30 H, 20-30 W, Rumely 6 and a Rumely Ideal thresher; John Fennema of Cutlerville, Michigan, with his 1927 30-60 S, 20-35 M, 25-40 X, 15-25 L, 1927 20-30 W, and Rumely 6; Phil Welsh of Allegan, Michigan, had a 1926 30-60 S; Harold Vander Laan of Dutton, Michigan, had a 1927 30-60 S; Frank Rupert of Battle Creek, Michigan, 1926 25-45 R; Nancy Durbin of Hastins, Michigan, a 1929 15-25 L. In addition, Mart Miklusicak of Dorr, Michigan, and Peter Lachniet of Grand Rapids, Michigan, had model Oilpull tractors.
Allis-Chalmers was also well represented. Many of the model B's, C's, G's, and WD's, WD 45's, and other models were on display. Ron Vander Wal of Hudsonville, Michigan, had his nicely restored 1942 C there. David Henion of Dutton, Michigan, brought an RC Allis, a model with low production numbers that is not often seen around. This model has an Allis B engine on a WC frame. It was not a popular tractor.
A few of the Allis tractors had mounted implements on them. A nicely restored G had a full set of cultivators on it.
My 1950 WD had mounted cultivators, also. I use this tractor to cultivate my two-acre pumpkin patch. I left the cultivators mounted on the tractor over the winter season because I found out it's a lot of work to take those things on and off! In addition, I brought along my 1952 Allis-Chalmers All-Crop 60 combine with mounted auxiliary engine. I got the engine running just two weeks before show time and the rest of the machine operational the day before the show started. I hope to submit a story about this machine sometime in the future.
Equipment seen for the first time at the Riverbend Show was Pete LaBelle's freshly restored Buffalo-Pitts steamer. It originally came from the Upper Penninsula of Michigan. Also new was a 1900s horse-drawn fuel wagon brought in by Van Manen Oil Company.
The 1999 Riverbend Steam and Gas Show will be held at Allendale, July 16 and 17. The Hart-Parr and Oliver line of tractors and equipment will be featured. Lots of equipment will be in operation, and a fun time for the whole family. Don't forget to check out the delicious homemade ice cream!