Annual Show Dates

Threshing Show Friday, Saturday, Sunday following Labor Day
65th Annual Show
Sept. 7, 8, 9 2018

2018 Raffle

1st Prize: 1020 John Deere, or $2500 Cash

2nd Prize: JD Pedal Tractor, or $100 Cash

3rd Prize: Collectible Toy Tractor

Friday - 7:30 p.m.
Polka Dots

Saturday - 7:30 p.m.
October Road


Tractor Pull - Saturday 2 p.m.


Copyright 2018 LRPTA-Dalton


With many buildings come many changes,additions, and lots of upkeep work. It seems each year is filled with new projects as well as old. Repairs are endless, as are the many hours given by faithful volunteers. Financial donations both large and small, as well and material donations, remain very special in preserving and restoring everything. With so many involved, we have chosen not to mention individual names, but rather to focus on the preservation of the history centered around the threshing days of years past.

Gas Station
The old gas station is near the main entrance along with several old restored cars reminescent of days gone by.

Service Building (Quonset Ribbed Building)
Here you will find many minature engines, along with those who have created them, fixed them up, and are ready to share their fascinating hobbies with anyone who walks by. Their excitement is special as is their desire to share how things work.

Depot and Railroad
The old Great Northern Railway depot was built in about 1885. Passenger service was discontinued in 1970 and the Dalton Depot was moved to the grounds in 1972. "The Laker Express" treats passengers to a half-mile loop ride. This steam locomotive was built in Paris, France, in 1914 by the Decauville Company. The narrow gauge engine is a wood burning, saddle tank style locomotive with a homemade supplemental fuel tender. The original number for the locomotive was 5898. It weighs about four tons and is rated at 40 hp. The engine survived both World Wars I and II. During WW II, the Germans captured it from the French and used it to haul ammunition. In 1970 it was exported from Hamburg, Germany to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The locomotive was brought to the LRPTA grounds in 1972. Rail was donated and the track loop completed in 1986. Homemade passenger cars were made by volunteers to carry about 24 passengers and in 1998 an engine house was completed. Since then, changes include an addition to the engine house and a passenger loading dock completed, plus an engine turntable in "the works".

Town Halls and Red School House
The St. Olaf Town Hall was first used in 1914. The Red one-room School House of 1987 is decked out with a typical setting of that era. The Pelican Town Hall houses a military display honoring our veterans of each branch of the service with uniforms and artifacts including a Japanese Battle Flag.

The Print Shop
The Linotype machine uses a 90-character keyboard to create an entire line of metal type at once. That's how it got its name: 'line o' type'. This allowed much faster typesetting and composition than the original hand method with the Gutenberg-style system of letter, punctuation mark or space at a time. This machine revolutionized newspaper publishing and made it possible for a small number of operators to set type for many pages on a daily basis. First used commercially in 1886 by the New York Tribune, it remained through the 1960's as the main method of setting newspaper type. At the print shop you will also find racks of lead type & slugs, a platen press and a folder in operation.

Wheelock Building
In 1981 7 semis arrived with a donated Wheelock Engine that took a year to assemble. Two large boilers were purchased to make the steam required to power the big 110 ton engine whose spokes each weigh about 10,000 lbs. Later a roof was built over it followed by a complete building. Inside is a large display of toy farm machinery and special antique collections. Old tractor and other machinery manuals are sold here as well as many varieties of toy implements by vendors.

The Blacksmith Shop
Inside is a working exhibit demonstrating sandcasting small anvils from molten zinc. A line shaft powers a 25 lb. Little Giant trip hammer, drill press and grinder. The "Smithys" keep busy working on various projects as well as repair and welding needs. At the shop is a blow torch display.

Gas Engine Building
Inside and out are many stationary oil and gas engines.

Diesel Building
A 75 hp Fairbanks Morse diesel, made in the 1920's, was used to power the Feed Mill in nearby Millerville, MN. It is a two-cycle oil engine with a 14" piston operating at 300 RPM, with a compressed air starting system. A 150 hp Fairbanks Morse diesel twin cylinder, also from the 1920's, ran a crane and air compressor in the Granite Quarry of Bellimgham, MN.

The Steam Room
Here are a variety of stationary steam engines that represent several different types of valves and governors. There are severl slide or "D" valves, a piston vavle engine and three Corliss valve engines; two of which are non-releasing and one that does release. Some emgines have flyball type governors and others have governors designed into the flywheel. The "Impressive One" is the Allis Corliss, famous for the patented valve system designed by George Corliss. This one powered one line shaft at the REO truck plant in Detroit until its closing in the 1970s and was built in 1904. Engines of this type powered almost all of American industry until electricity began to take over. The flywheel is a5 feet, the piston 20 inches in diameter with a 42 inch stroke.

The Quonset Building
This large implement storage building is used for crafters and vendors during the show.

The Agriculuture Museum
Filled with displays of many antiques, this large building also has a stage for entertainment and Sunday worship with a large seating arena. Popcorn, wrapped ice-cream snacks and other treats can be purchashed here as well as coffee. After the show this building is tightly packed with steam engines and a variety of old farm tractors and other machinery.

The Heritage Museum
Heritage displays and demonstrations as well as the sale of souvenirs, buttons, and calendars are here. You will find an old barber shop, a working pump organ, millinery shop, and the pharmacy counter of the old Borg Drug Store in Ashby, among many others.

One of the centers of life for the pioneers was the church. The church on the grounds contains parts and pieces of several old country and village churches -- some that no longer stand in the community.

Sawmill Cafe
Homecooked breakfast, lunches, short orders, and suppers are served here by the LRPTA Auxillary.

Church Lunch Stand
This pole-type building increased needed storage space in 1962, with additions in 1965 and 1970 connecting to the Steam Room. You will find meals and short orders available here served by a couple local area churches. Mobile vendor units are also spread throughout the grounds to keep hungry folks fed.

Sawmill, Planer, Woodworking Shop
The sawmill is a homemade version that has seen some changes over the years. A big crane, once used at a power pole treatment plant, stands next to it and a lumber shed. Next to that is the Planer Building containing a 4-sided planer and the Woodworking Shop Building.

Laverne's General Store
On display are ole cereal boxes, cigar boxes, tobacco cans, clothing, bakery goods, kerosene lamps, butter boxes, coffee and tea tins, barber shop items, and a wood stove to name a few.

Duck Hunting Heritage Building
This building was completed in 2011 and contains a special gun display plus many other "antiques" from the pioneer years of duck hunting.

Wash House Room
On the south end of the Duck Hunting Building is a display room of washing and wringer washing machines, sad irons and washboards, plus other items pioneers used in washing clothes.

Log Cabins
You will find three, each with an opportunity to "walk back in time" as you see how the family lived under one small roof and managed to survive. Here was the tiny center for sleeping, eating, and keeping the family warm. Somehow they managed to card and spin wool, bake bread, do canning, make and wash clothes, braid rugs, hand sew quilts and maintain a warm family environment.

The Memorial Building
The grounds would not be complete without a memorial building, dedicated to the founders of the show: Brothers George and Ralph Melby with their nephew Kenneth Bratvold. In front are several displays plus the old "Model A". In the back is a large display of model trains running throughout the show, which are a special attraction especially to the young and "young at heart".

This "tour" does not cover every building on the grounds, but hopefully gives a glimpse of things to appreciate and learn about the life of our pioneers especially focused around threashing time.