The old timers put together quite the display of old machinery that still works. One of them is a sawmill. Lumber yards were far and between. If a person wanted wood, they would go out and cut down the tree and saw by hand the shapes and sizes they wanted.
With the advent of engines no longer did the early settler have to go out and chop his home down. He could go to a sawmill and order his materials. Many of the early saw mills were operated by a stationary steam engine. Then the tractor came along and it was used to run the mill. Besides plowing, the tractor had other uses.
Here can be seen the long belt that would stretch from the tractor into the shed and run the big blade.
I look at this and marvel at how the early settlers had to work at their land. They did not have a lots of idle time. There was always something to do.
Some of the houses and barns that were built with limber from these old sawmills are still standing. Siding is planked as are roofs. It is a style of building that is no longer used today. Some of these people would travel 40, 50, 60 miles to get trees for the sawmill and then haul it back home. In the early 1900’s that trip was made by horse n wagon, sometimes two and three day trips one way.
It is amazing to watch one of these things work. The pioneers had to have a variety of skills to build a life out on the prairie. Not only farm, but also be skilled at mechanics, carpentry and industrial equipment.
When I have finished for the day a tour of one of these places I appreciate how easy my life is today. A 12 hour day is considered slavery today, but it was not unusual to put days in that long and longer 100 years ago.
I watch the people that do these shows and see how much fun they have. It is an annual event and when it is over, they sigh with relief and begin getting ready for the show next year.