11457 Bellbay Hwy RR Alpena, Michigan, 49707
Can we do it? Put on a show? Fred Bloom, Jim Geddert and Jim
Wojda asked themselves after they had participated in the Bolton
Centennial (1982) with their tractors, gas engines and sawmill.
For many years they had attended other shows with their
equipment and now it was decided they should hold a show in this
area of the state, the Northeast corner. Because there were no
shows in this part of this state it would provide a chance for the
younger people to see the old time machinery and the older people
could relive the past.
Now they were ready to try it for themselves. The problems were
solved one by one, the time and the place. Larry Dubey provided the
place and the time was set for the second weekend of August.
Then the fun began! Flyers had to be printed and distributed,
and exhibitors invited. Suffice to say this was accomplished and
the show was held. There were eleven tractors, approximately 25 gas
engines and old cars. We made enough money to have another
The main attraction was a 25-40 Rumely Oil Pull Tractor that had
been sitting in the woods for thirteen years. Fred and Jim had it
completely restored in five months.
After two shows the club was formally organized and called: The
Alpena Gas Engine and Antique Tractor Club, which was later changed
to: The Alpena Antique Tractor and Steam Engine Club. The club has
43 members and more ask to join each year.
Every year it gets bigger and better. Last year was the best,
even though it seemed to be the week for the rain, the attendance
was 2400. There was a lot of activity with something for everyone.
The club threshed grain and baled the straw with a hay press, sawed
logs with Zig’s belt-powered mill, and made shingles that are
branded with the year of the show and Alpena. There were many old
time tractors and gas engines along with flea markets and food.
The field where the show is held has a natural amphitheatre.
This gives us a dividing place between the noise of the engines and
the music which is played both on Saturday and on Sunday.
Saturday is open to anyone who wishes to play and on Sunday
local bands donate their time. We have a dance floor and the
youngsters really get into the swing. After the show at night the
floor is crowded and everyone has a good time. This amphitheater is
excellent for the daily tractor parade. As each one passes the
stand, the owner’s name and the history of his machine is read
over the microphone.
Donna Bloom makes the best bean soup in a big iron kettle hung
over a fire pit, and Ken Lewis steams sweet corn with the steam
engine from Jackson and boy, when they blow it in the morning, the
whistle surely wakes up the campers! This has become a tradition
along with the chicken dinners the Long Rapids Fire Department puts
on. The club is a non-profit organization and each year it gives a
donation to a service club.
The show this year will be held on August 12, 13, 14, at Alpena,
Michigan. Don’t miss the fun!