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Published August 19, 2009, 01:00 PM

Itasca Region Pioneer Farmers show planned weekend

The Lake Itasca Region Pioneer Farmers will host their 34th annual show Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 21-23. The LIRPF were able to obtain the furnishing and equipment of the historic Lake Itasca Post Office that has moved to the showgrounds.

The Lake Itasca Region Pioneer Farmers will host their 34th annual show Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 21-23.

The LIRPF were able to obtain the furnishing and equipment of the historic Lake Itasca Post Office that has moved to the showgrounds. The Lake Itasca Post Office was first established in 1895 in the Theodore Wegmann Store at the north end of Lake Itasca. It was transferred to the Ernest Sauer Store just north of the park in 1920, where it remained open until nearly the end of the 20th century. The post office will be open and in use during the upcoming show.

In the 20 years the LIRPF have been located near Itasca State Park, 27 buildings have been erected and seven have been moved in and renovated. Another new building will house a machine shop and also provide a meeting place for members of the Northern Minnesota Metalsmiths, an area organization that supplies talented artisans for the blacksmith shop during show times.

The new Rick Brothers Memorial arts and crafts building was well filled with demonstrators at last year’s show. A gallery of 500 vintage photos can be found on its interior walls. More than 500 pictures also hang in the three museums on the grounds.

The Gesell Family Memorial building will display vintage pictures and data of that family’s business over a 50-year period.

This year’s show will include a 1910 M. Rumely 20-85 horsepower steam engine, which will be used on the sawmill and for threshing during the show. Also in the show will be a replica of a railroad locomotive built by the 40 et 8 members of the Bemidji American Legion more than 50 years ago and donated to the LIRPF last fall.

Renovation of the J. Neils/Red Lake sawmill continues as various components get checked and put into place. The mill’s big steam engine has now been operating for nearly three years and its “Glo-stick” show has become a popular Saturday night attraction.

The “Kid’s Place” which was new last year, will offer supervised activities, games and storytelling for children.

For more information on the LIRPF show, visit www.itascapioneerfarmers.com.

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