Threshers reunion returns to area

Thousands of antique machinery enthusiasts will gather at the Fulton County Fairgrounds for the 71st Annual Reunion of the National Threshers Association. Featured at this year’s show will be equipment from A.D. Baker, a Swanton-based company that manufactured steam engines like the one shown here, along with gas tractors and other equipment.

The 71st Annual National Threshers Association Reunion, the oldest event of its type worldwide, will be held Thursday, through Sunday at the Fulton County Fairgrounds north of Wauseon. Featured at this year’s show will be A.D. Baker steam engines, tractors and related equipment, which were produced in nearby Swanton.

A.D. Baker was born in Knox County, Ohio and moved with his family to Swanton as a child. After gaining work experience, he opened a machine shop in Swanton in 1895.

The A.D. Baker Company was incorporated in Swanton in 1901 and was in business there until 1953.

In 1907, Baker was granted a patent for a reverse valve gear for use on steam locomotives. Due to high demand, its production was separated from the threshing machine business and became the Pilliod Company.

Baker was a contemporary of Henry Ford, who visit him numerous times in Swanton.

International Harvester tractors and equipment will also be spotlighted.

The 2015 event is expected to draw several thousand visitors from around the globe to see dozens of steam traction engines – predecessors to today’s farm tractors – in addition to hundreds of antique tractors and gas engines.

Daily demonstrations at this year’s show include grain threshing; sawmill, shingle mill and veneer mill operations; plowing; horsepower testing; and machinery parades with covered grandstand seating for spectators. Steam engine spark shows are scheduled for Friday and Saturday after dark, while musical entertainment, a fiddlers’ contest, kiddie tractor pull, food concessions and flea market booths are among the other highlights.

One-day admission is $5, and a four-day membership is $10. Children 12 and under are free with an adult admission. Old Timer’s Day admission, on Thursday, is $2 for those 65 and older.

For more information, please visit which includes details for on-site camping at the fairgrounds.