Pioneer Days

Chippewa Valley Antique Engine & Model Club, Inc


Welcome to the Pioneer Days!

If your nerves have not tingled to the smell of the steam and hot cylinder oil, if your blood has not raced with the rhythemic chuff-chuff of a steam traction engine under load, you have not fully lived.  But don't worry, you yet may live!

These nearly forgotten sensual delights can now be yours at any of the steam threshing jamborees up and down our land.   Where old settlers meet, old thresherman thresh and the shout still echoes across the land, "HOLD YOUR HORSES!"...and the steam whistle splits the dewy dawn.

Each summer, even in these space-age times of ours, old-time threshing bees attract increasing thousands of spectators.  Old-timers thrill again to throbbing steel under their feet, to the bite and rustle of the grain as they cut the bundle bands and hand feed an ancient threshing machine.  Youngsters thrill to purposeful uproar, seeing how their grandfathers worked and lived.  Grandmothers brag to their daughters-in-law of the great threshing day feast they prepared over the roaring, smoking, cob burning range in the stifling oil-lit kitchen.

A century ago our forefathers ate by the sweat of a mule and man and horse.  Then steam left the rails and marched across the fileds; the first relief human and bestial muscles had gotten since man first poked seed into stubborn soil.  Steam sparked and powered the Agricultural Revolution for more than half a century until the clanking, stinking gas engine displaced it.

Steam was King from soon after the Cival War to the First World War, when food demands stimulated the lighter, faster, more nimble gas tractor.  During the glory of steam, the Engine Man was King of the farm coummunity, at least during the four to six weeks' of threshing. Mothers fearfully warned their daughters against the blandishments of threshermen, whose very prestigiousness made them all the more alluring to farmers' daughters.

Steam and gas battled for anotther decade, when weight and honored age gave way to speed, the noisome youth.

Farm steam has now traversed its obsolescence and is well into its antiquity.  Steam hobbyists are today rescuing mountains of rust from swamps and junkyards and putting them into mint condition.  Collecting, restoring and running these gentle giants --some topping 30 tons and well over 60 years -- is the fastest growing farmers hobby from Pennsylvvania to the Pacific.  

You, too, can feel your heart leap to power and neighborliness, sniffing the inimitable steam-smoke-oil-perfume, itching to the chaff down your sweaty neck, hearing the old sounds and tasting the dust of days long gone.  Just go to a Steam Show!

Real steam buffs will travel half way across the continent to enjoy a Steam Show somebody says is good, or just to see a rare engine.  Some take pictures and some make recordings of the steam engine's powerful sound.

These Steam Days are the biggest days of the year in many a farm country county seat, pushing the country fair into oblivion.

Our club is dedicated to those who have a passion for restoring, collecting, and operating antique equipment. 

So come on, clap on your straw hat, hoist up your bib overalls  and join the fun crowd as we take a step back in time to the glory that was steam at Pioneer Days!

Please don't forget to check out all of the other events that we hold each year.  Something for everyone, educational for young and old! 

Now you can also follow us on Facebook!   

Just search for Pioneer Days and look for the antique tractor icon to find us!