The Teton Antique Steam and Gas Association (TASGA) is inviting everyone to the annual threshing bee, Sept. 17, 18 and 19, at the TASGA grounds on the east side of the Weatherbeater Arena in Choteau. TASGA members work all year to prepare for this event, which highlights the tools and power of a bygone era, when steam-powered engines were used to plane shingles, thresh grain, mow hay and more.

The TASGA grounds includes an old country school, a turn-of-the-century print shop, a country church and of course, the old train depot building. The buildings are all open to visitors. There will be concessions throughout the event and special activities including threshing and shingle-cutting demonstrations, pottery casting, and blacksmithing, parades of tractors, rides for kids, music and a Sunday morning church service.

We encourage local residents to make time to support the TASGA crew and attend this community event. As we watch the world continue to modernize, and we see expensive new combines and swathers take to the fields with their computer-controlled, GPS-coordinated coverage, it’s important to take a moment and recognize how greatly the agricultural industry has changed since the days when the old John Deere, Allis-Chalmers and Harvester machines pulled little plows and drills and planting and harvesting crops took weeks.

The world was a different place when steam and gas engines ran the machines in our fields and factories. Thanks to the efforts of the TASGA members, that history is being preserved and reenacted here in Choteau every September.