I’m Nancy Siefert, one of Duane and Judy’s four children. Brad, Dale and Jeanne, the other three siblings along with thier spouses, all help with the show to make it a success. The community gathering at Andersons’ Rock Creek Relics Threshing and Sawing Show takes place annually the weekend after Labor Day. My brother, Dale was married to Amy at the show in 1994. It was a rush to get the straw baled in time for the ceremony. We have had a second wedding at the show and a third is planned! 2014 was our 25th show!
In 1983, Duane, started his collection of antique tractors. Duane learned to drive tractor on the model C John Deere when he was a boy on the farm and he still has this rare tractor. He checks corn with it every spring and the 3-row mounted planter remains on the tractor. In addition to all the Green and Yellow Johnny Poppers, the collection has expanded to include many other makes and models, I think Dad was tired of being accused of being too partial. The Minneapolis 35-70 gas tractor is the largest, and many mistake it for a steam tractor. My grandfather had one just like it that he powered the sawmill with for many years. When this one from Iowa was delivered one Easter Sunday, I crawled inside of the huge back wheel just as I used to do when I was a child. What a thrill! We use "Big Minnie" to plow with a 10-bottom gang plow at the show. Other makes we have are Farmall, Minneapolis Moline, Fordson, Hart Parr, Rumely, Case, Avery, Allis Chalmer, Oliver, International, Huber, Moline Universal, Coop, Massey Harris, Cletrac, Twin City, Ford, and the Titan. Duane’s tractors used in his custom farm business are also still a part of the collection, of course we didn’t think of them as becoming antiques one day! The stories to tell about acquiring some of these are fantastic. Comparable to a good fish story!
The collection goes far beyond the wide variety of tractors. I have accused Dad of being a little weak minded when it comes to plows. I’m not sure how many he has and I’m not sure he even knows! The machinery includes many mounted hay mowers, loaders, plows, planters, cultivators, and corn pickers. Duane, Judy, and Dale have had a good time restoring manure spreaders too. There are also a variety of balers and horse equipment on display.
In 1985, the building began. Converting the barn to a workshop was the first undertaking. My grandfather, Clarence W. Anderson, was sure that the barn would come down with the removal of the hay mow floor. He was the one who would light the first fire in the barrel stove. Today, the shop is kept warm in the winter and provides a cool haven in the summer for Dad as he works tirelessly restoring tractors and machinery. My brother, Dale, lives right next door and they spend till all hours some nights working on the latest project in the shop. Most of the car oil changes and repair never make it inside to be done because the shop seems to only be empty for the two days of the show.
And the building goes on, some have kidded that we soon won’t have any of the 50 acres left to raise the crops on if the buildings keep going up. We moved my grandfather’s sawmill to the farm in the fall of 1987, and it was up and running in 1989, to begin sawing endless board feet of lumber for the many buildings at the farm. Most of the buildings are made from rough lumber sawn on the mill and have steel roofs. Many of these have removable “windows” so that visitors can view the displays, lumber sawing, or the blacksmith during the show. “Grandpa’s Shop” was built in 1948 by my dad and grandfather and moved from my dad’s home place in 1987. My brother, Brad, bought the log cabin at an auction west of Rush City. One little shed called “Under Roy’s Roof” got its name when dad put to use the roof of a shed the neighbor was tearing down. And then, there is the McKay School Wood Shed complete with the names carved by students who attended the one room school. I’ve watched as many who come to the show look for their name or the names of those they know that carved their names as children on the woodshed siding.