TrainWeb.org Facebook Page

Lake Region Pioneer Treshersmen Association and Bonanzaville USA 6/2/2017



by Chris Guenzler



We left Rollag and headed to Dalton for our next event of the morning.

History of Lake Region Pioneer Threshing Association

When the first threshing machine was invented, it was considered the greatest labor saver for threshing grain. Horses and steam engines that powered threshing machines were replaced in the 1930's with "modern day" tractors and combines were beginning to appear. In the summer of 1954, three men from the Dalton, MN area gathered together with a dream of doing their own "threshing bee."

George Melby, with the help of brother, Ralph Melby, and their nephew, Kenneth Bratvold, began on October 8, 1954, with six stacks of grain using George's Minnepolis separator (with wing feeders and powered by steam). Although not advertised, over 500 people came to observe the event on George's 10 acre field. It has been an annual event ever since. In 1960 it was moved to the present site on 40 acres of leased land on the southeast side of Dalton. Eventually the "Thresher's Club" grew in members and equipment. In 1973 they purchased the land. Over the years, buildings have been added to the grounds - some moved in and others built by dozens of volunteers. Many of the buildings are used for storage as well as displays and functions during the yearly event. The focus is to bring back some of the ways of life of the pioneers that settled in the area, and also an appreciation for our heritage.

Our Visit

We pulled into the parking lot and was met by Wayne Swenson, the group's publicity man, and his train crew and I thanked them for having us there today. I walked over to shoot my first three pictures at Dalton.





The French two foot engine built by Decauville that brought us here to Dalton. The engines were built for farm and construction use, but since they used the 60 cm track gauge, they could be used on military tracks if needed.





The Great Northern Dalton train station.





The inside of the Great Northern Dalton train station. I then was interviewed by three members of the press. Bart and Sarah Jennings arrived and Steve Mitchell of Yard Goat Videos was also here.







The train came out of the engine house spur and backed into the station.





The engineer Si and fireman Lucas for our trip today.





The engine house.





The water tower. Now lets take a couple of loops on this railroad.















This was one loop of the railroad. We made a second trip and after that Bart and I talked to our crew about two more trips so we could get photos from the ground. Bart went east and I went west and after the first trip we switched locations.





The inside of the engine house with two more passenger cars.















The first photo runby. We moved towards the other location but shot the train on the east loop.







The rest of the first runby. Bill and I moved to where Bart had been and took our pictures while Steve shot his video.













The second photo runby. Bart and I was then invited for a cab ride which we did.





Me and a member of the train crew.





Bart and the engine crew. A special thank you to the entire History of Lake Region Pioneer Threshing Association train crew for making our morning so special for us in Dalton. You all did one outstanding job.

We left Dalton and headed to Leonard to start our chase of the Milwaukee Road 261 afternoon trip to Lisbon from Davenport. After an excellent chase we then headed to West Fargo and our next stop of the trip.

Bonanzaville in West Fargo 6/2/2017

We parked and I checked in with the staff then went outside to look around.





Northern Pacific 4-4-0 684.





The Northern Pacific Embden Station.





The self tour stamp on the station.





Museum scene.







Northern Pacific Coach 1380.





Northern Pacific wedge snowplow.





Northern Pacific caboose 1628.





Outside view of rear of Northern Pacific 4-4-0 684.





Other things in this building.





Another view of the Northern Pacific 4-4-0 684.





Bonzaville water tower.





Now we look and see the Bonanzaville Central Railroad in this building.









The Bonanzaville Central Railroad model railroad.





A Bonanzaville scene.





One last view of the Northern Pacific 4-4-0 684. Next stop Davenport for our train ride this late afternoon.



RETURN TO THE MAIN PAGE