The Western Minnesota Steam Thresher’s Reunion (WMSTR) was officially organized in 1954. But well before that year, individuals in the Rollag area were acting to preserve and restore old steam-powered farming equipment. N.B. Nelson, one of the most active of these individuals, proposed in 1940, that steam threshers be used one day each year so that “Old timers” could “see a steam engine work again.” This idea gradually grew, and the WMSTR was organized as a result. The early organizers purchased old steam equipment and added these pieces to their growing collection In 1973, the group incorporated as a non-profit organization for the permanent care of the machinery collection and the continuance of annual reunions. At present, the WMSTR holds its reunion over the Labor Day weekends, and the various activities and demonstrations of old farm equipment draws some 70,000 visitors to Rollag each year.
The collection consists mostly of the handbooks of the WMSTR, which contain programs of the annual events, articles about historic steam-powered farm equipment, membership news, and review of the organization’s activities. Some miscellaneous material, including news clippings, is also in the collection. All materials are in good condition.