The Rogers Pioneer Power Association

By Staff
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1915 Minneapolis 35-70.
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Thieman gas tractor 1929.
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P.O. Box 447, Maple Plain, MN 55359

The Rogers Pioneer Power Association’s annual three day show
at Rogers, Minnesota has one of the biggest collections of large
gas fueled tractors in the Upper Midwest, as well as being a
many-faceted show with appeal to all ages.

Less than one-half mile north of Rogers, on Minnesota Highway
101, an Advance Rumely threshing machine, circa 1920, stands at the
east side of the highway all year, pointing the way into the
grounds and announcing the date of the upcoming show.

The group organized as the Anoka Engine Club in 1970 and
exhibited their gas engines and old time machinery at the Sherburn
County Fair at Elk River, MN, continuing to show there annually for
a number of years. They also began their own show in the Rogers
area on the Dahlheimer farm, then moved to their present location
on the Walter Dehn farm and have continued to show there ever

Today, the show grounds has fourteen permanent buildings
including a power plant, a blacksmith shop, log cabin, newspaper
office, childrens’ barn, womens’ activities building,
office, dining hall, granary and storage.

The power plant contains four engines, one of the earlier models
being used to provide power on club work days and for social
gatherings. The two Cummings are used for the show, providing power
for the kitchen, two soft ice cream machines and a walk-in
refrigerator, as well as the ordinary lighting needs.

The saw mill was built by Russ Persian, 14 years ago, from parts
of a saw rig used by the railroad to cut ties. It was set in blocks
of 8′, but has been used to cut 14′ logs. It has a 48′
blade. Power is often provided by an 8 HP homebuilt Canadian Case
steam engine.

Next to the saw mill is a shingle mill powered by a 1928 Fordson
tractor. Nearby is the newspaper office with old time equipment
which prints a little flyer with news of the show. Then the
blacksmith shop, manned by a master blacksmith and his apprentices,
produces tools and equipment as well as souvenir horseshoes.

A log cabin, built in 1850 by German immigrants, is furnished
with early settlers’ furniture and accessories. It is the scene
of daily butter churning, bread baking and ice cream making.
Samples are given while the supply lasts. The women’s
activities building has a series of rooms along one side of their
building that are furnished as pioneer kitchen, dining room,
bedroom, bath and living room. They also have continuous
demonstrations of spinning, weaving, quilting and pottery throwing,
as well as exhibits of members’ handcrafts for sale.

For children of all ages, the Future Farmers of America have a
small petting zoo of farm animals and pets. Across the way, free
rides are given on a little train that runs on a 700′ narrow
gauge track with open passenger cars. The trip includes not only
views of the threshing, plowing and myriad other activities of the
show, but it also goes through what appears to be an old style
covered bridge, but is really the storage shed for the train.

Every day, John Benson drives around the grounds, giving rides
to visitors in his 1911 Maxwell in which Jack Benny rode during a
visit to the Twin Cities. Other vintage vehicles such as a 1917 REO
?-ton truck, a 1918 5? ton Mack truck, a 1920 Ford 1? ton grain
truck, and a 1928 Model A Ford snowmobile conversion which was used
as a mail truck are not only seen in the parade, but are also
driven around the grounds frequently. Another unique vehicle is the
1940 track-laying tractor with a Waukesha engine which was an
airborne unit dropped by parachute during World War II.

Gasoline Alley has hundreds of gas engines. Included is a rare
Maytag fruit jar engine which was not one of Maytag’s best
ideas. A collection of seven New Way engines made in Lansing,
Michigan and a 5 HP Otto made in Germany in the 1800’s are just
a few of the interesting collections.

The daily parade consisting of over 150 units, features such
treats as: an 1890 12 HP Case, center crank; a 1913 Case tractor
22-44; a 1913 13 ton Model E Rumely 30-60; a 1915 Minneapolis Model
B 17-30; a Baker steam engine 19-65; a 1917 Aultman-Taylor 30-60; a
Hart Parr 30-60; a 1915 Advance 30 HP; a 1912 Mogul 45; a 1927 2
ton Caterpillar Model 30; and a 1917 International Model 8-16.

The threshing was done this year with an International 22
machine and a Case machine for separators, plus a’ Favorite
hand feed separator with a stacker. They also had a McCormick
Deering silo filler and a Case steam tractor.

In a nearby field, fall plowing was being done by a team of oxen
from the Kelley farm. At various times during the day, there were
demonstrations of old time methods of baling straw and husking

A large flea market on the southwest edge of the show grounds is
provided for the enjoyment of bargain hunting visitors and
exhibitors alike.

We would like to invite you to attend our 1989 show, August 18
through 20. The town of Rogers, at the intersection of Interstate
94 and Minnesota Highway 101, has a population of 708, but has six
restaurants, five service stations, two motels, three grocery and
convenience stores, plus an assortment of business and professional
services to serve the needs of travelers as well as the local
residents. A KOA campground is located nearby in Maple Grove. For
further information about accommodations, or participation in the
show, please write to Carolyn Myers, P.O. Box 462, Anoka, MN 55303,
or call (612) 422-1166.

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