In the early 1970s, a small group of individuals were brought together by their mutual love of old farm machinery.
As they worked to restore and maintain various pieces of equipment, they were gripped by the strong conviction that unless something must be done to preserve these machines.
The idea of an organization dedicated to the preservation of America’s agricultural history began to crystallise.
In 1976, the U.P. Steam and Gas Engine Association was officially incorporated as a non-profit group. It’s mission was the preservation, restoration and exhibition of vintage steam engines, hit-and-miss gasoline engines, tractors, farm machinery, and other items of historical interest.
On September 18 and 19, 1976, the fledgling group held an agricultural exposition. Not only did they want to display their equipment, they desired to create community interest in vintage machinery and hopefully acquire new members.
From the very beginning, the Association envisioned building an Agricultural Museum, a permanent facility that would house an eclectic cross-section of farming equipment. In 1986 that vision became a reality.
To further the goal of preserving America’s agricultural history and presenting it to current generations, the Association, with the support of the U.P. State Fair Authority, developed Antique Village. What started as a single building has grown into almost two acres of exhibits and shops.
The Association’s annual show has become one of the most popular and enduring events in the Upper Peninsula.
As we look forward to our 50th anniversary, the U.P. Steam and Gas Engine Association remains committed to our basic mandate: preserving the machinery of the past for current and future generations.