If you go
What: National Gathering of the Orange.
When: Sept. 13-15 (with pre-show tours Sept. 11-12).
Where: Racine County Fairground, Union Grove.
Information: www.fallharvestdays.com or Bill Strutz, 262-331-4246, www.fallharvestdays.com or find them on Facebook. Reservation forms for the bus tour, tractor ride, banquet, A-C feature building, flea market and craft building can be found online.
The Southeast Wisconsin Antique Power and Collectible Society is busy finalizing details to host the national Gathering of the Orange Sept. 13-15 in Union Grove. A bus tour and tractor ride featuring historic Allis-Chalmers sites in the area will precede the show.
The club last hosted the GOTO, touted as the "Coming Home" event, in 2005. This year's show is being billed as the "Coming Home Again" GOTO. A-C was headquartered in nearby West Allis.
“Please join us and bring your A-C tractor ‘home again’ and help us make it a great show for everyone,” said organizer Bill Strutz.
A bus tour of a grist mill in Richfield will be Wednesday, Sept. 11, leaving at 8:30 a.m. from the Union Grove fairground. The mill was built in 1871 with E.P. Allis equipment and concrete grinding wheels. A-C roller mills were added later.
The inside appears as it did when the lights were turned off and the doors locked when it was shut down in 1954, Strutz said. The Richfield Historical Society maintains the mill and also has a 19th-century house with period furnishings and a blacksmith shop.
After the mill tour, the bus will head to the Dilg A-C museum, just south of the Illinois/Wisconsin border. The Dilg family has more than 75 pieces of original A-C equipment. Lunch will be served at the Dilg museum. The group will return to the fairground about 4:30 p.m.
The $30 trip cost includes transportation, water and snacks on the bus, and lunch. The tour will be limited to 100 people and open on a first-come basis.
A more than 30-mile tractor ride from the original A-C tractor plant location in West Allis to the GOTO at the Union Grove fairground will be Thursday, Sept. 12. The ride will leave West Allis at 10 a.m. Participating tractors must have a minimum speed of 10 mph.
The group will pass the original A-C proving grounds in New Berlin and the A-C golf course, which is now owned by the City of New Berlin. Participants will continue on to Franklin and the site of the final proving grounds, where they will enjoy a pig roast and chicken provided by Craig Clemens, owner of Pro Electric. Larry Gruenberger, proving grounds manager, will talk about the facility and testing activities completed there.
“We can’t promise better weather than the 2005 short factory ride, but we promise you will enjoy the ride,” Strutz said.
The group will start in West Allis with a limited number of tractors, so early registration is encouraged. Pro Electric at 21500 Six-Mile Road, Franklin, will allow participants to drop off tractors and trailers at their facility, which has ample parking. Participants may enjoy lunch and the tour, then join the last 12 miles of the ride after lunch.
Additional GOTO activities will include an A-C banquet at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, at the Brat Stop just west of Kenosha near the intersection of Highway 50 and I-94. The cost is $35.
Other activities will include a tractor pull at 5 p.m. Saturday evening; a kids’ tractor pull at 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; daily sawmill, threshing and shingle mill demonstrations; Sunday morning garden tractor pulls; model trains and toy show; and tractor parades on Saturday and Sunday. There also will be a large flea market area (indoor and outdoor).
Primitive camping is available for $20 in the south parking lot area just beyond the fairground. Limited hookup camping is available for $35 per day and available on a first-come basis.