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Annual Antique Power Show wows attendees

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The Little Log House was the first building Steve Bauer moved to his property. Star Gazette photos by Michelle Wirth2 / 4
Linda Grufman rides her Cub Cadet Model 123 in the parade on Friday. 3 / 4
Dewey Roll demonstrates how to create a heart out of a horseshoe. 4 / 4

Last weekend the Little Log House Pioneer Village was open to the public for the 26th Annual Antique Power Show. There were 150 vendors this year and attendance was estimated to be more than past years due to the favorable weather. Attendees were able to tour the buildings, watch the daily parade, listen to live music, watch reenactments by the Canon Old West Society and more.

With over 45 restored buildings that date back between 1855 and 1953, there was plenty for visitors to see.

Dewey Roll did demonstrations at the Blacksmith shop in the village.

“Steel is just like a cookie right out of the oven,” he said as he began to bend a steel horseshoe into a heart shape.

Dewey’s wife, Karen, said they have been coming to the show for at least five years. She makes and sells hand forged leaves at the show. Karen said they have attended other farm shows, but she likes the Little Log House because people seem to really appreciate what they do.

The Fairbanks Morse Eclipse is about 50 feet high. “They’ve never seen this before and there are kids that will stand here all day,” she said referring to Dewey’s demonstrations in the blacksmith shop.

Karen Latuff, a Hastings resident who has attended the show with her husband for 14 years, exhibited a tractor at the show this year.

“It’s fun every year,” she said.

She enjoys seeing the different tractors, cars and exhibits. Visiting the flea market is one of her favorite activities at the show.

Even first-time attendees Rich and Rose Ledin said it was a good show. The couple from Apple Valley said they decided to attend after seeing it in the paper Friday morning. They expected to go out for about an hour to walk around, but quickly realized they wouldn’t be able to see everything in just a day.

“I’m impressed,” said Rose. “I’m very much impressed, in fact, we were just discussing we need to tell friends about this because it is so neat.”

One item that caught their eye was a windmill which Rose said reminded her of the same windmill that was on her husband’s farm when he was a kid.

There were two new buildings at this year’s show. One was built around 1890 and came from Hampton.

Lloyd Weber donated his torch collection to the Little Log House. Lloyd J. Weber, from Fridley, Minnesota, donated his vintage blowtorch collection consisting of about 300 torches.

Weber started collecting the torches in 1998 when he got one from his father-in-law. The next step was learning how to clean them and 300 torches later, they are all polished.

Weber said he has always been a collector but what engaged him most about the blowtorches was “the engineering and the fact that I could restore them and add to their value.”

When Weber decided he was ready to give up his collection he didn’t know what to do with it at first. He said his kids didn’t want it and most of the people who would want to pay a lot of money for a collection like that are all dead.

“Steve was a godsend. I just talked to my wife, I was in tears,” he said holding back tears again, “how lucky we were to find this.”

Michelle Wirth

Michelle Wirth graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2013 with a degree in journalism and web design. She worked as a web content editor for a trade association before coming to the Hastings Star Gazette in 2016.

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