MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa- This week the Farm Progress Show focused on the future of farming, the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion in Mt. Pleasant looks at agriculture in the other direction. Each a hundred or so steam-powered tractors come to this Reunion to blow off some steam, literally, and talk old tractors. The Reunion runs from Thursday through September 1.
While the centerpiece of the Old Threshers Reunion may be steam tractors, the show also looks back at tractors with internal combustion engines, hundreds of those are on hand, as well as antique cars and trucks, and various kinds of farm implements. Not to be outdone those who still love farming with horses have draft teams on hand as well.
Opening ceremonies were held at the grandstand. Speakers included, Governor Terry Branstad, and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds. Mt. Pleasant Mayor Steve Brimhall welcomed the visitors by recounting a number of street and park improvements to the City the past year. He said the downtown park now has a steam engine with a “fresh coat of donated paint applied by volunteers.” Brimhall also said,”Old Threshers is one of the things that defines Mt. Pleasant, and we’re very proud they’re here.”
Dennis Walker of Burlington has volunteered at the Reunion for 15 years, the last 3 he has had his own steam tractor to show. He restored a 1913 Russell a giant tractor with a steam engine that has 16 horsepower. He restored the tractor after it sat unused for 20 years.
“We are the largest steam show in the country,” said Walker. He loves being at the show due to the people he meets. “You just get to talk to so many people,” said Walker.
The Midwest Old Threshers Reunion was founded in 1950 after to men returned from a steam show in Illinois. They noted that Henry County Iowa also had a large number of steam tractors, and decided to start a steam show in Mt. Pleasant.