Rollag has a number of large and small, portable and stationary gas engines to look at. On display, are engines from the mammoth SNOW engine, all the way down to member’s collections of portable hit and miss engines, along with everything in between. Some you can see running pumps, fans or other items. Many of them are located in the trees back behind our Administration building.
Even on a non-expo year, Rollag has hundreds of tractors on display. It doesn’t matter if you like Red, Green, Orange, Yellow or any other color tractor, we have them all. In addition to your standard line of gas tractors, we have a large collection of prairie tractors, such as the Oil Pull line, Twin Cities, Pioneer and others. You’ll be able to not only see these up close and personal when lined up, but you can also see them in the parades and possibly plowing and threshing as well over the course of the weekend!
Miniature & Model Engines
Just off the main parade right to the west of our Administration building is our model engine building. In here, you will find dozens of scale-models, either from kits or homemade. They are powered by air, heat, motor and imagination. One of the featured attractions in this building is the Kid’s Class led by Mr Jerry Swedberg with the help of many others. It is a great opportunity to get our youth (ages 10-17) involved in the hobby and teach them valuable skills. They will safely learn how to perform some basic machining skills such as using a drill press and similar tools under the supervision of experienced Members of WMSTR. There is no cost for this event, but you must sign up early to get involved! The event is about 2-3 hours, taking place Friday and Saturday morning of our show at 9am. When completed, the attendees will get to take home their own ‘wobbler’ air powered ‘engine’ There have been over 260 engines built at our show, and the interest has spread from our show, thru Wisconsin and out to the East Coast. If you are interested, please contact Mr Swedberg to sign-up. You may also call 218-937-5404 instead.
So many to choose from! – Briden-Roen, Thick and Thin, Earl’s Mill plus others including the scale mill in the woods. Before the days of computers, lasers and high tech equipment, sawmills were powered by steam and braun. Massive logs riding back and forth on the sleds, cables, pulleys, belts and a sharp eye got the job done. Stop by any of our mills located on the grounds for a trip back in time to see how lumber was prepared before the days of automation.
Our Main Street consists of our General Store, Mercantile, Downer Church and a host of other buildings. Included is a post office where you can drop off letters and they will be mailed out!. Our newly relocated Baker Depot is also on main-street and is the boarding location for the East end of the showgrounds. Stop in to get an ice cream cone from the mercantile, or visit the Ladies Activities building to see sewing, knitting and spinning being demonstrated during the day.
Horsepower & Farmstead
One of the highlights on our showgrounds is our farmstead. Including a barn, stables, working displays of horsepower (threshing, plowing etc) as well as a period farmhouse with displays and at the right time, fresh baked goodies, this is a very interesting area to walk around. We have daily displays on how horsepower was harnessed in the day, and also exhibits such as shoeing as well as rides for the youngsters.
Nestled back behind the Montana Boiler, the pioneer village is one of the areas we’ve been putting a good deal of time into drawing more attention to. With an old log home, blacksmiths and water powered wood-shop, this display shows how life was before cars, modern farming and cable tv. In past years, we’ve had ladies spinning wool in the home, and a few members making toys in wood shopshop for all to enjoy.
Construction Area (The ‘Sandbox’)
If you are looking to see some of the largest steam powered earth movers still moving earth, you don’t need to look past our construction area. Between the 50-B steam shovel, massive drag-lines, dump trucks and the Marion-Osgood steam shovel[restoration in process], we truly have a unique array of history in motion. Also included are exhibits such as the rock crusher, trencher and Tennefros Company cars.
Blacksmiths & Foundry
See how metal was forged in the blacksmith’s shop, before automation, presses and other modern processes. From heating the metals, to twisting, punching and forming it into interesting shapes, tools and useful items. We have two blacksmiths shops, one in the trees near Minuatureland, and the second in our pioneer village. The Rollag foundry is another great exhibit. The process is still used today for many materials, but here, you can get an up-close view of how the items are made! We make many of the trinkets for sale, such as the Expo items, trivet, and others onsite during the show. From tamping in the form in place, to pouring and extraction and final prep of the items, you can see the process from start to finish. Next to the Foundry is another metalworks area, featuring a number of items all run by line-shaft.
At the hear of Rollag is music. Heard daily across the showgrounds from the Nelson building to the TMB, gazebo, churches and sometimes just under a shadry tree. From accordions, to banjos, fiddle, harmonica and maybe the spoons, Rollag has a variety of music. During the day, there is music playing in the Nelson building, along with impromptu jamming many other locations around the grounds. In the evening, you can still find music in the Nelson building, as well as the TMB. Also, the blacksmiths shop will have some jamming going on into the evening.
Just like the big ones, only smaller! Our miniatureland area has some very intricate and detailed, fully operational scale steam engines, seperators and other displays to look at. In addition to being excellent examples of craftsmanship, our minuatures are used to help our younger steam enthusiasts (and some young at heart) get some experience and learn the operation and skills needed to be a safe operator. Many times, you will see them steaming around in the trees. There are miniature saws to cut wood with, and a miniature hay baler, so you can bring home a souvenier bale from the show.
If you want to see a wide array of all of the tractors and steam engines we have, yet don’t want to walk thru all of the engines, simply find a bench or a seat under a shady tree for our daily parades. Happening at 10:00am and 2:00pm (only 2:00 on Sunday) many of our rolling exhibits make their way down the parade route. It’s surely a site to see a complete lineage of a tractor brand, or see the might Avery steam engine puffing up the hill.
Our tractor pulls get back to basics. No super modified, turbo diesel masses of power and noise. Sure, they are cool, but there’s something about the local farmer pulling in with their old Oliver and hitching up to the skid and pulling down the track. Front wheels bobbing in the air, engine lugging down and just plugging down the lane. Check the schedule when you arrive at the show for the pulling schedule!
Threshing, Plowing & Fieldwork
We have threshing daily on our showgrounds with either steam or gas traction engines providing the power. on Saturday afternoon, (weather permitting) we plow our fields, again either with gas or steam traction engines. Additionally, we’ll have some harvesting to do with some combines of various ages and sizes.