History of the Riverbend Steam & Gas Association
In July of 1968, Tom & Bud Rosema decided to thresh oats on Tom’s farm north east of Allendale, MI. A neighbor offered to bind the oats first using his horses to pull the binder. A date was set in August, friends invited, and a threshing bee was performed. Tom’s 1936 McCormick Deering W-30 was used to pull the thresher, and a good demonstration was put on. At the meal that followed, discussion of a tractor club surfaced. A club was soon started with Bud & Tom Rosema, Jay Bouwer, Cal Dyke, Claude Scholma, & Wendel Groeneveld as charter members.
The name of Riverbend Steam & Gas Association was chosen, and it takes its roots from the fact that a bend in the Grand River was visible from Tom’s farm. The first official show in 1969 was moved to Jay Bouwer’s farm, a few miles from Tom’s farm, as Jay had purchased a steam engine and thresher, and was more difficult to move than the smaller tractors. Shows were held on Jay’s farm up thru 1976. In 1977, the show was relocated to the Claude Scholma farm on 56th street in Allendale, and has been there ever since. Around 1974, it was decided to move the show date from August to the 3rd Weekend in July to keep from conflicting with other shows.
Claude has since passed on, and his son Lee now controls the farm and grounds where we meet. As of this writing, 2 of the original charter members, Bud Rosema and Cal Dyke, are still with us.