Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Minnesota Faces: Steam engine tractor operator September 4, 2015

Portrait #38: Steam engine tractor operator


Portrait 38, Rice County Steam engine


The sheer size of a vintage steam engine tractor always impresses me. As do those who operate these monstrosities. Just look at the difference in scale between man and mammoth machine, this one at last year’s Rice County Steam & Gas Engines Show. You better know what you’re doing when you run one of these machines.

The steam engine tractor will rumble around again this weekend at the show grounds along Minnesota State Highway 3 three miles south of Northfield.

If you appreciate vintage tractors, flea markets, farm work demonstrations (like threshing, corn shelling, plowing, sawing, etc.) and more, then you must attend the Friday – Sunday event. Click here to see the complete line-up of activities. Don’t miss the Parade of Tractors at noon daily.

I promise, you will enjoy this event. I especially like its comfortable size—big enough to offer plenty to see and do, but not too large as to overwhelm. I always see people I know here and that’s part of the fun. Visiting. Oh, and the food, is pretty darned good, too.


Minnesota Faces is a series featured every Friday on Minnesota Prairie Roots.

© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


12 Responses to “Minnesota Faces: Steam engine tractor operator”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    I love these kind of events as well and I understand the comfort of a smaller event like this. Makes it a little easier to enjoy without throngs of people. Enjoy your weekend, Audrey.

  2. Almost Iowa Says:

    Those steam engines are awesome – but I would not want to be operating one in this heat and humidity.

  3. Jackie Says:

    Oh this looks like it would be fun… I’ll have to see what the weekend brings 🙂

  4. It’s as large as, and very similar in appearance to, an old locomotive..

  5. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    Those tractors are so much fun to see in action.

  6. hotlyspiced Says:

    That is a massive engine! I know my little guy would love to attend that parade. I hope you have good weather for it. It’s Father’s Day here today and it’s cold, wet and miserable. Never mind, we will get out and about and find a way to celebrate xx

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