Great Oregon Steam-Up
by Eric Grutzmacher of Grandview, OR
The 2017 Great Oregon Steam-up is coming soon, July 29-30 & August 5-6. What follows reports on last year’s event. Definitely go if you can.
One advantage the website has is “unlimited real estate,” meaning we aren’t limited by the number of pages in the Journal. I’ve created a Great Oregon Steam-Up Bonus Gallery where I uploaded every picture I took at this wonderful event. Enjoy.
Hi, my name is Eric and I know Nothing about Farming.
I do internetty digital things and live near by, so Lynn lets me do what I can to help out at the Small Farmer’s Journal. Maybe you’ve noticed all the content from past Journals we’ve been adding to the website? Well, that’s me; I’ve read all of it so far and I’m learning. You’ll see.
I’m not a complete noob. I grew up in an agricultural community. Throughout high school my summer and after school jobs were haying for various local farmers and working at Barry’s Dad’s feed store. We had horses for 4H and whatnot. But, in spite of my impressive credentials, the main thing I have learned is how much I don’t know. It’s fascinating.
One of the things I want to do at the Journal is try to get out to some of the events around here and bring back photos, videos and maybe even a report. You may remember I was mentioned as a tagalong when we went to the ODHBA Plowing Match over in McMinnville last April. We made a video and Kristi and I got some great photos. Pics, check; vids, check. So, this is my first stab at a report.
I went to the Great Oregon Steam-Up over in Brooks, Oregon, near Salem. Lynn has been invited and has wanted to attend for years, but this time of year might very well be the busiest time of year for him. He’s always farming or writing or editing or painting or forecasting or businessing or just generally fightin’ the power, yo. It’s nuts, I don’t know how he does it all. So, when I told him I was going to go, he was very interested and wanted a good report.
Below is copy & pasted (and slightly edited) from the Steam-Up website. They can describe it better than I.
The Great Oregon Steam-Up is the largest event at Antique Powerland during the year and it involves all of the museums and many other participants. One of the unique aspects of the event is that most of the equipment is operating.
Learn about the early machinery that made Oregon develop and grow. Hear about innovators and manufacturers of times past. Machines on display include farm tractors and implements, early engines, crawlers, fire apparatus, vintage trucks and cars, logging gear, an early Oregon flour mill, and an authentic steam sawmill. Rides include an historic trolley and a miniature railroad.
And a little something about Antique Powerland to fill in the background.
Antique Powerland, which opened in 1970, was originally established by a group of enthusiasts dedicated to the preservation, restoration, and operation of steam powered equipment, antique farm machinery, and implements. Today, it encompasses an impressive collection of museums dedicated to preserving Oregon’s rich agricultural heritage.
I went in the afternoon on the last day of the two-weekend event, Sunday, August 7, 2016. Things were winding down, exhibitors were starting to get ready to pack up. “Whew!” was in the air; every scene the physical manifestation of a sigh of relief.
Let’s go home.
I wanted to do a good report for the Journal, maybe even conduct my first interview! But in the end, I, being somewhat introverted, was hesitant to bother anybody (the non-intrepid reporter), which leaves us with a bunch of photos and a story that only shows how much I have to learn.
When in doubt, take pictures of everything and let Lynn sort them out, that’s my motto. So I was going from machine to device to implement, click click click. I got into the John Deere area…
Then the Farmalls…
Then I moved on to the Allis-Chalmers section.
I came across this gentleman (center, above) amongst the orange. Maybe because I had a camera and was systematically taking pictures of everything in sight, he thought I was an event authority, or at least basically knowledgable in my subject. He came over and asked if I knew about Allis-Chalmers.
“Nothing at all,” I replied.
“I was curious about the letters used in the model name, what they mean. I did a little research on John Deere and International before I came down, but didn’t look up Allis-Chalmers.”
I looked down the row, did a quick assessment, and said “it looks like, the bigger the letter, the bigger the tractor.” In his rapidly clouding eyes, I saw him write me off as a source of information. To put it kindly. (aside: what is a bigger letter? LOL)
He was far too gentlemanly to simply turn heel, so we cordially moved on to the next specimen together.
“What do you suppose that is for?” he asked, forgetting whom he was dealing with or just being polite. He was indicating the ring around the perimeter of the wheel.
And this popped out of my mouth: “Oh, that’s an accessory or option they could order, so while on roads or paths the lugs don’t tear everything up, but in the soft ground of a field it will sink in and gain traction.”
In his eyes, I instantly regained lost ground. I was as surprised as he. Then he started asking other stuff to which I could only answer, “I don’t know.” Busted.
But see. I told you. I am learning.
P.S. If I was wrong about that wheel, I don’t even want to know. But if anyone knows what the letters stand for…