Tractors and old time demonstrations highlight annual Froelich Fall-der-All

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Step back in time this Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 25 and 26, for Froelich’s annual Fall-der-All. The event will include tractors, old time demonstrations, kids activities, vendors, museum tours and food. (Times-Register file photo)

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register

 

Step back in time this Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 25 and 26, for Froelich’s annual Fall-der-All.

 

Located along U.S. Highway 18/52 between McGregor and Monona, Froelich is known as the birthplace of the first gas-powered tractor to propel itself forward and backward, created by John Froelich in 1892. Fall-der-All marks the main fundraiser for the Froelich Foundation and Museum.

 

“It’s wonderful to have the event back. It’s the only fundraiser we have each year, which is a big deal as a nonprofit,” said Denise Schutte, who’s worked at the site for 10 seasons.

 

In true Froelich fashion, this year’s event will kick off Saturday morning with a tractor ride. It will leave Froelich at 9:30 a.m. and return around 12:30 p.m., and will be in honor of the late Keary Keehner and Ivan Meisner, both former Froelich Foundation board directors.

 

Schutte said tractors and hit and miss engines will be on display throughout the weekend, and Todd Larson will be on hand to answer questions about tractor restoration. 

 

On both Saturday and Sunday, check out a variety of demonstrations from days gone by, including blacksmithing, rope making, cider pressing apples, shelling corn by hand, sewing and wool spinning. Kerr’s mini steam engine and baler will return, along with the Monona Wood Carvers.

 

“A new thing this year is beekeeping. Joel Fassbinder from Decorah will bring some frames along with honey to sell, and tell about beekeeping,” Schutte said. “Larry Lerch will also answer questions about trains in the depot.”

 

Another highlight will be the threshing display.

 

“It will only be done one time, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, by the barn,” said Schutte. “It’s a pretty neat old time demonstration.”

 

Farmers market goods and items from several vendors will also be available throughout the weekend. Kids can enjoy barrel rides and other activities, along with a pedal pull on Sunday at 1 p.m.

 

Take a self-guided tour of the Froelich 1890s Village Museum, comprised of Froelich tractor replicas, Burlingame’s General Store, the Cowell semi building, a freight warehouse, blacksmith shop, one-room school house, railroad depot and vintage barn.

 

“And don’t forget the food,” stressed Schutte.

 

On Saturday, pork loin and turkey dressing sandwiches, hot dogs, beans, chips, pie and ice cream will be served in the barn. Sunday morning, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., will be breakfast in the barn with pancakes and sausage, scrambled eggs, applesauce and a beverage.

 

Fall-der-All will be capped off Sunday at 3 p.m., with the big raffle drawing, including a John Deere pedal tractor from Bodensteiner Implement, cash prizes and other gifts donated by local businesses.

 

Schutte credits the Froelich Foundation board of directors for helping to pull the event together and sharing the site’s legacy.

 

“At Froelich, we’re preserving farm tractor history,” she said, “and we look forward to promoting that history.”

 

To learn more, find the “Froelich Foundation” Facebook page or go to www.froelichtractor.com.

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