Janesville70.3°

Hunting for fun? Try the Thresheree

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Catherine W. Idzerda
August 28, 2008
— Some people take the Rock River Thresheree very seriously.

Those folks are earnest about the challenges of restoring a Rumely OilPull or finding parts for a 1913 Sawyer-Massey thresher.


Then there’s the rest of us, a motley group who attend the event because of its blend of mechanical wonders, flea market treasures and old guys who could build anything out of a flywheel, miscellaneous belt and something combustible.


This weekend, the Thresheree will be held on its grounds on Highway 51 between Janesville and Edgerton. The Wade Brothers collection of more than 80 restored steam engines, tractors and other equipment is this year’s special feature. On Saturday, organizers will try to set a record for the most threshing machines in operation at the same time.


With years of Thresheree experience under our belts—no pun intended—we created a scavenger hunt to challenge returning visitors and give newcomers an idea of the event’s scope.


See if you can find:


-- At least one guy who is more than 80 years old and drove more than 80 miles to attend. Give yourself a bonus point if he was pulling an antique tractor behind his ancient pickup. Ask him about the first tractor he ever drove.


-- A machine playing circus music. For some, it’s a sound that brings back happy memories. For others, it reminds them of scary clowns.


-- A Cockshutt tractor. And an Oliver Hart-Parr tractor. And a Cletrac crawler tractor. Thresheree grounds will be filled with examples of John Deere, Farmall and many other popular brands. Try to find the unusual.


-- A shady spot for the 2 p.m. Parade of Power. They do exist but fill up fast. The parade features steam engines, tractors and a variety of other antique equipment, parading through a natural amphitheater.


-- A set of salt and pepper shakers in the shape of one of these: bears in a tree, a running spoon and fork, outhouses, the state of Arkansas. The flea market features an extensive collection of the antique, the practical, the purely decorative and the decidedly different.


-- A left-hand brake pedal from a Farmall. Give yourself an extra point if you can find a transmission input shaft and bevel pinion. Give yourself another point if you actually know what that is.


-- The loudest machine on the grounds. We’ll give you a hint: It goes "THUNK, THUNK, THUNK" and was used to build bridges.


To learn more about this year's Rock River Thresheree, pick up a copy of today's paper.

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