Fall-der-All to celebrate 125th anniversary of Froelich’s tractor invention

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Youth will have the opportunity to grind corn by hand at the annual Froelich Fall-der-All, held Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 23-24. (NIT file photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Let history come alive through fun demonstrations, tours and more at the annual Froelich Fall-der-All, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 23-24.

For over 20 years, Fall-der-All has been a local fall tradition for Froelich, which is known as the birthplace of the first gas-powered tractor to propel itself forward and backward, created by John Froelich in 1892.

In fact, this year marks the 125th anniversary of Froelich’s invention.

“[The tractor] is what makes the museum and village special,” said Froelich coordinator Denise Schutte.

In true Froelich fashion, tractors will start off the celebration on Saturday, with sign-up for a tractor ride beginning at 9 a.m. and the ride leaving at 9:30 a.m. It will end at Froelich around 12:30 p.m. 

Following the ride, participants are also encouraged to showcase their tractors at Fall-der-All through Sunday afternoon. Both newer and older, antique tractors will be displayed.

On both Saturday and Sunday, Fall-der-All attendees can reminisce and enjoy old-time demonstrations, including blacksmithing, rope making, cider pressing apples and cutting wood with a steam engine. A thresher will also be on display along with some hit-and-miss engines. 

“I hope people will bring their entire family to see how things were done years ago,” Schutte said. “It’s great to have multi-generational families. For the older generations, it brings out memories they have that they might not share otherwise.”

Schutte said kids will especially enjoy making ice cream and grinding corn by hand.

“They can take the stone and pound on the corn themselves,” she explained. “Getting to see it helps them learn. It’s a fun way to learn.”

Other kid’s activities will include barrel rides, offered throughout the weekend, as well as a pedal tractor pull Sunday, at 1 p.m.

Make sure to come to Fall-der-All hungry, as pork loin sandwiches, turkey and dressing sandwiches, hot dogs, chili dogs, beans, chips, ice cream and pie will be served on Saturday.

On Sunday, start the day off right with breakfast in the barn, featuring a hearty meal of pancakes with pure maple syrup, scrambled eggs, sausage, homemade applesauce and a beverage. Breakfast will be served from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

At 2 p.m., the first 20 numbered Redwing crocks of the quasquicentennial (125 years) of Froelich’s tractor will be auctioned off in the barn.

The raffle drawing will end the day at 3 p.m.

While visiting Fall-der-All, attendees are welcome to check out the Froelich Museum 1890s historical village, comprised of Burlingame’s General Store, Froelich tractor replicas, the Cowell semi building, a warehouse, blacksmith shop, one-room school house, train depot and vintage barn.

For more information, see the ad in this week’s paper or visit froelichtractor.com.

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