Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Tractors & a whole lot more at the Rice County Steam & Gas Engines show September 17, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 8:26 AM
The "long green line" stretches across the field.

The "long green line" stretches across the field.

A restored 1921 Advance Rumely steam engine.

A restored 1921 Advance Rumely steam engine debuts at the show.

IF YOU KNOW John Deere tractors, then you know they are yellow and green and are part of “the long green line.” A leaping deer further distinguishes the company. And in earlier days, so did the distinct putt-putt of John Deere tractors.

Now imagine rows and rows of old John Deere tractors, a long green line per se. That would be the Rice County Steam & Gas Engines, Inc., annual show held recently near Dundas. Each year the group features a different brand and in 2009, it was John Deere.

That’s not to say that only Deere equipment was allowed on the grounds. Heavens, no. But the yellow and green machines dominated the Minneapolis Molines, Fords, Farmalls, Olivers and more.

An event like this, though, involves so much more than tractors. It is about “preserving a bit of yesterday for tomorrow,” according to the Rice County organization’s motto.

From the blacksmith pounding on red-hot metal to the old steam engine rumbling down the gravel road to the horses pulling a wagon, this show truly exemplifies many facets of rural history.

So, settle back and view this sampling of photos from my visit to the Rice County Steam & Gas Engines, Inc., show.

Be sure to check out my previous posts and watch for at least one more blog focusing on yet another facet of this event.

At work in the blacksmith shop, shaping metal.

At work in the blacksmith shop, shaping metal.

John Deeres: old and older

John Deeres: old and older

A close-up image of the Cyclone name on a piece of equipment, a brand unknown to me until the show.

A close-up image of the Cyclone name on a piece of equipment, a brand unknown to me until the show.

Two types of horse power.

Two types of horse power.

An on-site windmill adds authenticity to the showgrounds.

An on-site windmill adds authenticity to the showgrounds.

An old John Deere combine.

An old John Deere combine. I remember these.

I learned to drive tractor on a B Farmall.

I learned to drive tractor on a B Farmall.

Corn bundles piled on a wagon.

Corn bundles piled on a wagon.

Flags were a common sight at the show.

Flags were a common sight on tractors at the show.

© Copyright 2009 Audrey Kletscher Helbling