MHRT (Mechanical History Roundtable) is a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to the
preservation of antique equipment and rural lifestyles in Olmsted County, Minnesota.
We are affiliated with, and located on the grounds of the History Center of Olmsted County.
We farm a few acres the old way, operate a sawmill and blacksmith shop, and maintain a collection of
various mechanical devices and farm equipment
We like visitors! Stop by and look around anytime. Ask questions. Enjoy the country farm ambiance.
No admission charged except on show dates.
How to find us:
Contact Information: Please send e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
More Info about MHRT:
We normally have a business meeting on the first Tuesday evening of each month in the History Center Building.
Come and join us!
Annual Club dues are $7.50 per individual or $10 per family.
MHRT Board Officers for 2017:
President - Zach Klaus
Vice President - Ken Mueller
Secretary - Kirk Schumacher
Treasurer - Russ Turner
HCOC Liaison - Thomas Strain
Records Custodian - Ted Kueker
THE BEGINNING OF THE OLMSTED COUNTY MECHANICAL HISTORY ROUNDTABLE
In 1968 Lyle Sundry went down to the Olmsted County Historical Society (OCHS) when it was in the old church behind the
present Mayo Medical School Library. The address was 214 Third Ave. SW. The log cabin that is presently on the OCHS
grounds was located just south of this church/historical society building. He approached Floyd Shaw III, who was the director,
with the idea of having a display of a burr mill grinding corn at the Olmsted County Fairgrounds during the county fair in August.
Mr. Shaw was interested in the idea and said Lyle could display his engine and mill on the south side of the Hadley Valley
school house which was then located on the fairgrounds just east of the Olmsted County Highway Building. The county fair ran
Tuesday through Sunday at that time. The engine and mill were hauled with the Ocher's van and trailer. Lyle bought about six
50 lb. bags of shelled corn from Roddis Elevator Company in Rochester for $2.00 a bag. He set up his display at the
fairgrounds and ran it intermittently though out the day and early evening. The engine was a 4 Hp. Fuller and Johnson. The
name of the burr mill is unknown. Lyle still has both the engine and the mill in his collection.
Lyle was working for the Mayo Clinic and received a total of five days of vacation per year. He used this vacation time to display
this at the fair. Our son David was then two years old and just loved being there with his father. We only allowed it for short
periods of time and only occasionally as we were so concerned for his safety.
Lyle had a display in the 1968, 1969, and then in 1970 he asked Roger Byrne if he would like to bring a display too. He said
"yes" and brought several engines and a large burr mill that year. They continued this together in 1971 and 1972.
In 1973 and 1974 there was no room to have this display at the Hadley Valley School area because of the increasing number of
fair displays and activities. During these two years there was a threshing/tractor/ engine demonstration on a weekend on the
Robert Hale farm south of Stewartville. Roger and Lyle each displayed their own machinery there. David was now his dad's
In 1974 The Mechanical History Roundtable was formed with the OCHS. Through the efforts of Roger Byrne working with
George Tyrell who was the current director of the society, the first "Threshing Show" was in 1975 on the current OCHS grounds.
Written by: Donna Sundry