307. Western Michigan Old Engine Club


A small group of people organized the Western Michigan Old Engine Club in 1974. That vision led to the lease of a 22-acre track from the City of Scottville located near the Pere Marquette River and the facility has grown tremendously over the years.

The organization hosts its Annual Show during the first weekend in August, an Education Day in conjunction with the Scottville Harvest Festival in September, and Antique Tractor and Garden Tractor pulling contests in May, June and July.

Every Wednesday June through September, members are having work bees and visitors are welcome to tour the facilities as most of the building will be opened. Learn about the organization and examine the calendar of events on the website: www.oldengineclub.org. Those groups interested in a private tour should call 231/843-2663.

Considering the Old Engine Club in its totality, one is sure to be impressed with many of its most appealing features. Rural electrification had a transformational impact of rural life everywhere. That life-changing force came to rural Michigan in the late 1930’s. The REA power plant in Scottville was built to supply this power. One of three original diesel generators is housed in the brown building. Built by the Worthington Company, this 6 cylinder, 100 ton plus monster was moved to this site and its structure was literally built around it. The barn is a replica of an earlier farmstead barn but the accompanying silo is a 100 year-old original that was reassembled and moved here after being rescued and preserved by club members. This barn is used for winter storage for the reaper, an 1890’s vintage hay bailer built by Ann Arbor Machine in Ann Arbor, and the Red River threshing machine manufactured by the Oliver Corporation at its Battle Creek plant.

The blacksmith shop also houses a shingle mill and a complete line shaft driven by an engine in the machine shop. The club also re-created a grain building complete with a collection of grain cleaning, processing and milling equipment all salvaged from local farms. The sawmill was originally sold by Montgomery Ward Company as a portable farm mill. Built in the 1930’s by Bellsaw, almost every farm community had at least one similar mill to service the needs of the rural community.

Throughout the grounds pieces of equipment and tools are displayed. During the annual show in August, hundreds of engines, tractors and pieces of equipment are displayed and demonstrate many operations each day.