The Blacksmith Shop contains an original line shaft powered by an upright steam engine, and three forges that are operated throughout the weekend by several experienced blacksmiths. Watch them as they work with this equipment that dates back to the turn of the century.
This unique, 8-sided building near the Petting Barn is the home of the Broom Factory. Antique machines are used to hand-wind the broom straw onto handles that are then sewn, by hand, to make the shape. You will be amazed at the good quality house brooms, whisk brooms and kids brooms that they turn out each year! Be sure to stop over, meet the happy broom makers, and watch a broom being made from start to finish. Also, don’t miss the chance to purchase one of these quality hand-made brooms!
Ever wonder how furniture and wooden items were made before power tools came around? Visit our carpentry shop to see how those old hand-tools that were seen sitting on Grandpa's workbench were used. Jim Carpenter has been collecting and restoring these tools for 30 years and has been demonstrating the use of the tools at the show for 25 years. Stop by the shop, see which tools do what, and even try your skill at working with them!
While visiting the grounds, you will find a variety of antique and classic cars and trucks on display, including vehicles as old as the 1910 Maxwell to the classic cars of the 70’s. All vehicles are kept behind ropes to encourage their safe display while owners visit other exhibits and activities on the grounds. Please feel free to join our display and have the chance to show off your antique or classic vehicle in one of the daily parades.
A special treat for the ladies is the large Craft Show that takes place all three days. Located in the big red building and the corn crib area at the south end, it features 40-50 talented crafters that have a wide variety of original, hand-made items for sale. If you have questions regarding the Craft Show, or might be interested in buying booth space and displaying your items, please contact Marlene Osborn at (712) 424-3804.
Bring back childhood memories with a visit to our doll house located southwest of the Gas Station. Have your own dolls you would like to add to the display? We’d be happy to have them! There is no charge to display. If you are interested, please contact Connie Skau at (712) 289-6228.
Take a tour of our farm house and see how earlier generations lived their day-to-day lives. See the antique dishes, utensils, and appliances people used in the preparation, cooking and clean-up of their meals. Not to mention the home furnishings they had and the style of clothes they wore.
There is much excitement about the tractors and implements that will be operating in the field during the show this year. They will be cultivating and picking checked corn, as well as shelling corn. The threshing machines will be running as well as some combining the standing wheat. The field will be full of Allis-Chalmers machines as they plow and disk the soil. Rakes, and balers will be busy with the straw. As always, the horses will be disking, plowing, well-drilling, as well as assisting some of the other displays. This year we will once again be having a garden tractor area, demonstrating a large variety of garden tractor implements.
The mill was manufactured by Meadows Mill on July 27, 1933 in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina. It is a Stone Burr Mill, which is run by a tractor belt pulley. Today, the mills are still made by the same company, only are now run by electricity. The Meadows Mill Company had its beginning around the 1900's. A mechanically inclined Baptist minister, Reverend William Calloway Meadows, designed and built a burr mill with stones mounted in a vertical position as opposed to the horizontal type generally used up until that time. The reverend began manufacturing these mills and obtained a patent on his design in 1907. In 1908, a group of North Wilkesboro men purchased the WC Meadows Mill Company, erected a factory in North Wilkesboro, and continued manufacturing the Stone Burr Mills on an enlarged scale. Production reached its peak during the WWI period of the early 1920’s. The Meadows Mill Company has nearly 90 years of family ownership and has dated records of each mill that was ever made. They can look up the serial number and give the exact date in which the mill was made.
The Anderson brothers, Loren and Claire, enjoy running the flour mill. Throughout the years, they have ground a variety of grains. Wheat is the most popular, but rye, buckwheat, and corn have also been ground.
While operated by the Anderson brothers, the mill is owned by one of the show’s founders. The building that houses the flour mill was designed and built by Jim Nelsen, who used lumber sawn from logs at the saw mill on site for some of the construction.
The Stone Burr Mill at the site had its stones dressed in 1997. Because of this, very fine flour can now be ground. During the show, fresh-ground flour is available for sale for $2.00 a bag. Be sure to stop by the Flour Mill (next to the Gas Station building) to buy yourself a bag, and request a free handout containing several delicious homemade bread recipes!
It wouldn’t be Threshermen’s without lots of great food, and we certainly strive to please! Start your day with a large breakfast hosted by the Marathon Fire Department, or a fresh doughnut and cup of hot coffee at the Threshermen Café. The Snack Stand, located in the Store Building, serves up stuffed baked potatoes, nachos, smoothies, candy bars and popcorn. Hop on over to The Southside Cafe for a slice of pizza, a fresh-made funnel cake, homemade French Fries, or a cool glass of lemonade! At the Feed Bunk they're busy grilling rib eye steak sandwiches, pork chops, beef and pork burgers. So many decisions — so little time!
As always, the Threshermen Café has beef burgers, polish sausage (with or without kraut), and hot dogs. Served up with potato chips, coleslaw or baked beans, and a slice of home-baked pie, you just can’t go wrong! To top it all off, dash over to The Little Red barn and grab yourself a cup of Threshermen’s homemade ice cream, produced by the ‘Shiftless Swedes’. Believe it when we say, “There’s always room for ice cream!”
Looking for some extra fun to burn off all that delicious food? We are always looking for volunteers to help us cook and serve food. Plus, it’s a great way to meet new people! We’ve got 2-3 hour shifts available at any time of the day, so stop in if you’re interested in helping out. For more information, please contact Karen Feeley at (712) 843-2289
What ran the washing machine between good old-fashioned elbow grease and electricity? The answer: a stationary gas engine. These small motors came in a variety of sizes and horsepower. They ran all kinds of useful appliances such as: water wells, oil wells, stationary hay balers, and yes, even washing machines. Stop and see the variety that are displayed and running at the show. From the smaller ones pumping water and running washing machines, to the large 3-cylinder diesel motor used as a power plant, there’s something for everyone to see.
Depending on the weather and the availability of teams and teamsters, the "Gentle Giants" can be seen: plowing with a sulky plow or walking plow, pulling the trolleys around the grounds, cultivating, binding corn, discing, harrowing, threshing using horse power, moving grain wagons and unloading the wagons using horse power, well drilling, etc.
In and around the horse building visitors can pet the horses, watch them being harnessed or unharnessed, hitched and unhitched. Or one can rest while the horses rest and eat, or maybe just talk about the good old days! If you have working horses, and would like to show your skills and theirs, feel most welcome to be a part of the show -- any time, any day.
Freedom Hall was ready for guests for the 2014 show. The new building was designed to honor all members of service--past and present. The new building is 64' x 128' and is located at the south end of the show grounds.
Volunteers from various veteran's organizations from the Northwest Iowa area are seeking ideas for displays to include a variety of military memorabilia as well as vintage military vehicles.
For additional information, contact Garland Otto at 712-843-5761, Woody Wenell at 712-843-5328 or Ron White at 712-289-2251.
Take a gander behind the Petting Barn and Craft Crib and see the tee-pee beginning to take shape, courtesy of the Ridge Runners. Smell and taste the wonderful Indian fry bread and Indian tacos. Make a rope, take your turn learning to throw a hatchet, buy handmade items such as beads and dream catchers. Hear the jingling of the ankle bells they wear. Travel back in time and see a little bit of how life was between the pioneers and Native Americans.
How does the tree that was cut down become the lumber that was used to build the Flour Mill’s building? Visit the Saw Mill south of the Feature Building to see. The Saw Mill can be run by any tractor with a belt pulley, but is usually seen powered by a steam engine. From removing the bark off the tree to cutting the tree into the rough plank construction lumber that can be purchased at a home improvement store, this saw mill does it all.
Anyone wishing to have some lumber milled is welcome to bring it in before the show. There is no charge for this service, but a free-will donation to the show for maintenance and upkeep is greatly appreciated. Please contact Mick Sundblad at (712) 299-1078 prior to the show.
REMEMBER, REMINISCE & REST Remember the "Good ol' days?" Take a break and visit the School House. Did you, or someone you know, attend a 1 (or 2) room school? Was there a raccoon or skunk under the school, or did someone let a mouse loose inside? Share the fun and tell stories you had forgotten about or never dared tell before. Did you receive a good education in the 3 R's -- Readin', 'Ritin', and 'Rithmetic? Join us at the School House! To volunteer or ask questions, call (712) 843-2076.
Stop and see how the cedar shake shingles on buildings around the site are made. The Shingle/Lathe Mill is next to the Saw Mill. Cedar shingles are available to purchase to give that special home project a rustic feel. Cedar chips can also be purchased to keep the closets at home smelling fresh.
Cleaning the flues, flushing the boiler, replacing the hand hole gaskets, filling the water tanks and the boiler are a few steps necessary to ready the steam traction engine for preliminary checks. Steam engine oil, cup grease, coal, firewood, and a good supply of clean water, along with two engineers per engine help to make the steam engines ready for the weekend activities.
A small red quaint house, the Svenska Stuga (or Swedish home) is a replica of a house built in Minnesota by a Swedish immigrant who wanted a house which reminded him of his house in his homeland. The Stuga is a one-room house, typical of what peasants called their home in Sweden. It was common to be occupied by a large family, and possibly three generations lived there year-round.
The Stuga has a beautiful fireplace built with field rock of the area. The ceiling beams are notched and painted with colorful, scenic drawings of Sweden. Many Swedish items, such as furniture and trunks, are used to furnish and decorate this house.
Volunteer hostesses yearly clean and decorate the Svenska Stuga in preparation for the threshing show. Some visitors share interesting stories of their experiences as they’ve visited the “Old Country”, and hostesses tell the visitors about the traditions, which the Swedes still cherish.
Buy the keepsake of your choice! The items available include: T-shirts, caps, mugs, and more. There are also items available from many previous years in case you might have missed something.
People of all ages will enjoy a visit to the Toy Show. From the 1:64 scale toys, to the 1:16 scale Precision models, to the manufacturer merchandise, there's something to catch anyone's eye.
The Toy Show is located in the building just north of the School House.
Anyone willing to occupy a booth to sell their merchandise, or for more information, call (712) 843-2076.
Whether it’s red, yellow, orange, green, gray, or any other color, the variety of tractors on site will hold something for any enthusiast. Come and look, or bring your own antique iron treasure. Swap memories of that tractor seen Grandpa’s shed or grew up on. Big or small, there’s an interesting tractor in the line-up for all!
While parking, save those feet for walking the site! Hop on one of the tractor-pulled people-movers and get a ride to the crossing. After wandering the buildings, touring the lines of tractors, and seeing all of the field activities, rest those feet and take in the bigger picture of the show by hopping on one of the trolleys. Choose a trolly making the short loop around the grounds or choose a trolly going to the field to take in the action.
Memberships to the Association are a great value! Your season pass is included with your annual dues! A couples membership is just $35 and includes two season passes. A single membership is just $25 and includes one season pass. For more details, click here.
We are a 501c(3) organization with the show operated by volunteers. Donations can be designated for specific areas, such as the land fund, or will go into the general operations fund. All donations are tax deductible.