Take a walk back in time at the 43rd annual Union Thresheree and National Antique Tractor Pull July 23-25 in Symco. Featured are Minneapolis-Moline tractors and equipment, plus Fairbanks-Morse gas engines.
“This thresheree is not just about the tractor pull,” stated Union thresherman Rod Krueger. “It’s about keeping history alive.”
A special attraction for 2010 is the Vilter Manufacturing Co. steam engine that was used to cool beer back in the 1890s at the George Walter Brewery Co. of Appleton. The old antique is finally running, thanks to weeks of work by the father and sons team of Victor, Mark and Doug LeNoble.
This was the first item purchased for display at the Union Thresheree grounds, according to curator Larry Werth, of Symco.
“It sat here for 40 years and could have been sitting for several years before Larry bought it,” stated Doug LeNoble.
Behind the brewery machine sits an enormous steam engine with a 20-foot flywheel that generated energy for the entire city of Gillett back in the 1800-1920s.
“Someday we will get the big one running,” Werth promised.
“This place is for education – not just for the visitors, but for us workers,” stated Dan Brunner, a Union Thresherman from Appleton. “I used to work on computers. Now I work on machines, buildings and the feed mill.”
Additions to Unionville for 2010 include a harness and shoe shop, and a roof has been added to the feed mill. Next year’s plans include completing the feed mill and building a new blacksmith shop.
The harness shop used to be the print shop, “but it eventually got too small,” Werth explained. “So we raised the roof 18 inches and made it into a harness shop.” The new print shop was built about 10 years ago.
“Unionville will never get done because we’re always building new things,” Werth stated. “We don’t want to be the biggest thresheree, we want to be the best!”
The Friday, July 23, free music show will feature NightHawk from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Events for Saturday, July 24, include the grounds open, 7 a.m.; Kids Pedal Tractor Pull, 9:30 a.m.; weigh-in begins at 8:30 a.m.; National Antique Tractor Pull, 11 a.m., registration and scale open 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.; children’s activities at the Rocking School, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Adult Pedal Pull, 9 p.m.; and dance with music by Mike and Brian Experience, 8 p.m.
Sunday, July 25, events include a church service at Unionville Church, 7 a.m.; grounds open, 9 a.m.; children’s activities at the Rocking School, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; parade in Symco, 11:30 a.m.; music by Roger’s Jolly Dutchmen, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.; Antique Power Chain Saw Contest, 3 p.m.; and raffle drawing, 4 p.m.
Next year’s thresheree will be held July 29-31. Featured will be Massey Harris, Wallace and Massey Ferguson tractors and equipment, plus Johnson gas engines.