Praire Gold Rush winter show hosted in Clarion

This sign hangs in the tractor display area at the Heartland Museum.

Last weekend was a busy time for Clarion as it saw the influx of close to 200 visitors for the Prairie Gold Rush winter show—a regular meeting of lovers of all things Minneapolis-Moline. Though the tractor brand was discontinued in 1974, enthusiasts still collect and restore the classic machines and enjoy meeting to talk tractors.

Local tractor restorer Larry Maasdam is part of the Prairie Gold Rush community and offered to bring the show to Clarion this year. His collection at the Heartland Museum includes a few Minneapolis-Moline pieces in addition to many other brands. His wife, Melanie Maasdam, did much of the planning for the event on the museum side. She said many people don’t understand just how big and connected the tractor community is. “They’re super friendly people, and they really just like to get together and visit,” she said.

Show attendees agreed. “It’s getting together with the people you only see once or twice a year,” said Bill Schultz from New Holstein, Wisconsin. Other visitors hailed from New Jersey, Florida, Texas, California, Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan. Both hotels in town were full due to the number of visitors.

 

For the full story, see the March 16 edition of the Monitor.