Take a step back in time at annual Froelich Fall-der-All

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Take a step back in time at the annual Froelich Fall-der-All, held Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 24 and 25. “It’s going to be a family fun weekend of activities, tours, demonstrations, tractors, old time engines and food,” according to Froelich Foundation Executive Director Denise Schutte. A threshing display (shown here) is planned for 2 p.m. both days. (Times-Register file photo)

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register

 

Take a step back in time at the annual Froelich Fall-der-All. This year’s event will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24, and 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 25, at the Froelich Tractor and 1890s Village Museum four miles east of Monona.

 

“It’s going to be a family fun weekend of activities, tours, demonstrations, tractors, old time engines and food,” according to Froelich Foundation Executive Director Denise Schutte. “And this is a very special year because we’re celebrating the 130th anniversary of John Froelich’s tractor invention, of the very first gasoline powered tractor able to propel itself both forward and backward in 1892.” 

 

The tractor, built in the village named for John Froelich’s family, led to the Waterloo Boy tractors and was the forerunner to the John Deere tractors of 1918. 

 

“You can come and learn about this history—about something that happened here and not anywhere else in the world,” said Schutte. “Some people don’t realize the awesome, one-of-a-kind history that occurred here.”

 

In true Froelich fashion, Fall-der-All weekend will kick off with a tractor ride. Sign up will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, and the ride will leave Froelich at 9:30 a.m. New this year, UTVs will also be included.

 

“They are each going different routes because of the speed difference,” Schutte said, “and they’ll return around 12:30 p.m. for lunch.”

 

The meal that day will include pork loin and turkey dressing sandwiches, hot dogs, beans, chips, homemade pie and ice cream.

 

Throughout Saturday and Sunday, visitors can enjoy a variety of old-time demonstrations, including blacksmithing, rope making, cider pressing apples and wool spinning. Threshing displays are planned for both days, around 2 p.m. 

 

Kerr’s mini steam engine and baler will also be operating, and hit and miss engines, Froelich tractor replicas and a Lil’ Oil Pull will be featured. The Monona Wood Carvers will show their craft and Larry Lerch from Elkader will share train history in the Froelich Depot. Fassbinder’s Bee Keeping and Honey will be on site on Sunday only, from noon to 3 p.m.

 

“There will be lots of antique tractors, especially on Saturday,” Schutte said, “and the kids will have their fun activities, like barrel rides around the grounds. We’re also having many new vendors and farmers market goods.”

 

Another highlight this year will be Little Miss Laura Ingalls Wilder 2022, Isabella Cagley. She is the granddaughter of Bob and Sheryl Moses of Monona, as well as the great-great niece of Verta Kerr of Postville, and was crowned Little Miss Laura by the Laura Ingalls Wilder Park and Museum in Burr Oak. Visitors will find Cagley in Froelich’s one-room schoolhouse and on the grounds throughout the weekend.

 

“Our museum will be open for tours, all seven buildings,” Schutte noted. The 1890s village includes the aforementioned one-room schoolhouse and depot as well as the 1891 general store and post office, Froelich tractor replicas and educational DVD, freight warehouse, blacksmith shop, 1903 barn and Cowell semi building.

 

“You’re welcome to go through on your own. These are self-guided tours,” Schutte added. “Also, we’re going to have the Jim Cowell semis out. He took those in parades for many years and then they were stored here at our museum. This year, thanks to Danny Torkelson and many businesses in the area who donated, these semis are running again and have been in many parades.”

 

Sunday’s Fall-der-All schedule features breakfast in the barn from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., then a non-sanctioned kids pedal pull at 1 p.m. The event wraps up with a big raffle drawing at 3 p.m.

 

Schutte assures Fall-der-All will be a fun weekend for both new visitors and those who’ve attended previously.

 

“It’s a wonderful time to spend with your family, just walking about our grounds, on the grounds where John Froelich invented that first tractor,” she shared.

 

Find more info at froelichtractor.com.

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