Dodge County Antique Power Club Show a success

Gloria Hafemeister


Near-perfect weather greeted the visitors to Burnett Corners over the weekend as the Dodge County Antique Power Club hosted its 48th annual show on the club’s farm.

Earlier this month, club members had cut grain on one of the farm's fields, and visitors had an opportunity to see those bundles of grain threshed with one of several old-time threshing machines.

Meanwhile, other demonstrations featured lumber sawing, corn shelling, plowing, baling and much more.

Steam tractors huffed and puffed as they paraded around the grounds, along with a variety of other old-time machines.

Steaming corn

For one of the steam engine exhibitors, Andy Schmitz, Slinger, brought a 1916 Case 50 hp steam engine that he hooked up to belt power to crush stones with an antique crusher. When he wasn’t crushing stones, he captured the steam from his machine to steam corn for his family and friends.

Earlier, he had connected the hose from his machine to a larger steamer to help the Dodge County Antique Power Club cook the corn that was for sale in their refreshment stand.

“I owned this machine about a year," Schmitz said, "but I have been running steam for about 10 years now. I also have a few gas engines.”

Vintage tractor and equipment collectors came from all over the state and the Midwest to show off their collections. Some of them brought a variety of extra parts and supplies to sell at the large flea market.

The featured equipment company at the show was Allis Chalmers Manufacturing Company of Wisconsin. While the WD 45 was the most popular Allis Chalmers farm tractor produced, the show featured a variety of colors and models as well as other farm equipment made by the company.

Manufactured from 1953 to 1957, the Golden Age of American agriculture, the Allis Chalmers WD 45 was the first AC model to feature power steering, and it easily packed more power than any tractor of its size.

The company produced 90,000 WD 45 tractors, and many of them were at the weekend show in Burnett Corners.

The Burnett farm grounds were a sea of orange with a variety of Allis Chalmers tractors and implements on display. Not all of the pieces, however, were orange.

Parked outside the special Allis Chalmers display building was one of the more unusual Allis Chalmers tractors that was painted yellow and not the more common bright orange. It was designed especially for use in parks and by landscapers. Other exhibitors showed off green Allis Chalmers pieces.

Rumley Oil Pull machines were also featured at the show.  Visitors enjoyed reminiscing and demonstrating a variety of ways to use the machines.

The Buckskinners group demonstrated a variety of old-time skills outside the old school house at the show. Inside weavers and spinners demonstrated their skills. Old-time cameras were featured this year in the school.

The school, moved in several years ago from Jefferson County and restored by club members, is used to preserve and store many of the smaller antique pieces donated to the club.

At 12 years old, Brayden Kok of Waupun was the youngest participant in the antique tractor pull at the Dodge County Antique Power Club’s show at Burnett Corners on Saturday.  He was proud to get fourth place in the event and said he had participated in the tractor safety classes, making him eligible to compete.

Future plans

Club members are hoping to complete the barn on their farm for next year’s show. The walls were in place for this year’s event, and the club continues to raise funds to complete the project.

The club already has numerous donations of things such as stanchions, milking machines, loose hay loaders and other items to furnish the barn once it is complete.

The club has also had donations of several barns that will be used for materials to complete their barn.

The barn will eventually serve as a museum of sorts to show off antique pieces of barn and dairy equipment.

This building, together with the old school, windmill, blacksmith shop and other permanent things at the farm, are helping to turn this club’s grounds into a living-history museum.

Andy Schmitz, Slinger, steamed some corn on Saturday, using the steam from his 1916 Case 50 hp steam engine. He also helped cook corn for the Dodge County Antique Power Club’s refreshment stand during their three-day show in Burnett Corners on the weekend.