Still running

Dayton welcomes a look back at the way things once were done

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Earl Hanson, of Dayton, at left, along with Gerald Johnson, of Ellsworth, discuss the finer points of tractor restoration in front of Hanson’s 1958 John Deere 620 at the 8th annual Dayton Old Engine Day in Dayton.

The bright green and yellow John Deere tractor Earl Hanson, of Dayton, brought to the 8th annual Dayton Old Engine Day doesn’t look like it’s more than 60 years old.

The machine, a 1958 620, has been restored to its original appearance, right down to a bright yellow seat.

It still has to earn its keep though.

“I use it,” Hanson said.

The tractor hasn’t ever been too far from home, either.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Debbie McClelland, of Clarion, gets pulled around by her granddaughter, Leslie McClelland, 2, of Eagle Grove, as they wait for the pedal pull competition to start at the 8th annual Dayton Old Engine Day.

“It was bought here in the Dayton Implement,” Hanson said. “It’s been in the family since October of 1958.”

John Heggen, of Harcourt, brought along a machine that’s a mix of old and new, designed to look like something that’s really old.

“It’s a 1909 Indian board track racer,” he said. “The originals could do 100 miles per hour with no brakes.”

Heggen made his replica from a 1940s vintage Hiawatha bike frame, custom built the fuel tank and put a modern 2-cycle engine kit on it to power it.

Will his do 100 like the original?

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Gary Geisinger, of Eagle Grove, found a tractor tire a fine place to rest as he waits for the pedal pull competition to start at the 8th annual Dayton Old Engine Day Saturday.

“Nooooo,” he said.

He’s never tried.

“I’ve only ever done about 40,” he said. “It should do 50 or 55, but I’m not that brave yet.”

He said the winter project, on which he spent about $500, kept him busy and out of trouble and, yes, his version has working brakes.

Gary Geisinger, of Eagle Grove, came to Old Engine Day to see his grandson compete in the pedal pull competition.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Jim Heggen, of Harcourt, looks for a place to park his replica 1909 Indian motorcycle that he built on an old bike frame during the 8th annual Dayton Old Engine Day.

While he was there, he also got some ideas from seeing the old restored cars, trucks and pickups.

“I’m getting some ideas to fix my pickup up,” he said. “I also get to see some family.”

Debbie McClelland, of Clarion, had some kid power available to pull the family wagon. Her granddaughter, Leslie McClelland, 2, of Eagle Grove, was having fun pulling her around before the pedal pull began.

“I get to hang out with my little treaders,” she said.

Part of Saturday’s celebration was dozens of garage sales throughout Dayton. One family, living almost next door to the downtown events, was doing brisk business.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Mindy Ott, of Boxholm, at left, takes a picture of her son, Grant Ott, 7, after he won first place in his age division Saturday during the pedal pull competition at the 8th annual Dayton Old Engine Day.

McClelland wasn’t too sure if cruising the sales was going to be part of their day.

“Maybe,” she said.

Visitors could also enjoy seeing the Dayton Museum inside the Dayton Light and Power Plant or pick up a few books at the library book sale.

The Dayton Community Club sponsors the event.


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