Rough and Tumble Historical Association, Inc. is a unique 501(c)(3) non-profit museum located on 33 acres in Lancaster County in PA that helps preserve America's Agricultural and Industrial history by holding events throughout the year. We have many operating exhibits as well as numerous Steam Traction Engines including the 2nd Oldest running Steam Traction Engine in the US, the Schiedler built in 1886 recently restored! See the video of the first test of this engine in our 2012 Photo Gallery.
Ride two special Steam Trains that loop around our grounds. There is a huge collection of Gas Engines including the Oldest Internal Combustion engine running in North America built by Otto and Langen in 1867 and the oldest running Diesel Engine built by M.A.N. We have a large building of Stationary Steam Engines all running. You will see some of the best restored John Deere, IH, and Rumely tractors around to name a few. Our Model Shops have many very unique hand built items on display and running. Watch our Blacksmiths forging items. Founded in 1948, we are celebrating our 70th year in 2018 with the unique history as one of the longest and earliest running organizations of this type in the U.S.
Rough and Tumble is "The Most Complete Operating Steam and Gas Engine Show in the East"! Our Threshermen’s Reunion attracted thousands of visitors from across the U.S breaking attendance records last year. Come visit us and see up close the wide range of unique operating equipment of all types on our grounds. Counting Down to the Show!
The 70th R & T Threshermen's Reunion is the 2nd Oldest show in the Country to be held again August 15th to the 18th in 2018 featuring “Oliver, Cletrac & Hart Parr” along with Walk Behind Mowers.
Welcome to the New updated, mobile friendly Rough and Tumble Web Site. Our site allows members and visitors to join, renew, and update their Membership and purchase Membership and Gift Shop items on line with their credit card via PayPal. Members can also sign-in and update their profile information, read R & T By-Laws, Club Info, and download and print the quarterly Whistle newsletter.
Antique Tractor Pull Saturday, April 28th
The years first event, the Antique Tractor Pull will be held April at Rough and Tumble. Come out to the pulling track and watch antique gas tractors complete pulling down the track. Gates Open 8:00 AM. Tractor weigh-in starts at 8-10 am. Tractor Pull starts at 10 am. Blacksmith Shop demonstrations can also be seen at the show.
The 26th Annual Mid-Winter Get-Together was held on a rainy Saturday Feb 8th from 10 am. until 3 pm. in the Model Shop and other buildings. As usual there was no formal program, just a chance to shake off some of the cobwebs of winter and get together with fellow Rough & Tumblers for some fun and donuts. Everyone brought models and other projects, complete or not, crafts, any photos from trips, past shows (R&T and elsewhere), videos or other interesting stuff. Lunch was a bring-your-own with coffee, donuts, soda, chips and donuts provided. DVD video equipment was available and we had the heaters fired up for comfort.
The Blacksmith Shop was busy with projects and hot fires. Our Circa 1900's, Line Shaft "Machine Works" was installing an antique belt driven air compressor. There is always something going on restoring turn of the century machining equipment. Good to see everyone shook off those winter blues, and came on out. Some photos of the event are here.
A New R&T Sink Hole! With colder weather you’re bound to get some wintery surprises, like a 12 foot deep sinkhole that appeared between the R&T kitchen and the farm house due to a water line leak. A group of volunteers teamed up to fill the hole in. It was a chilly day but they got the job done. More photos a available here.
The Shay is getting a new ticket booth at Rough and Tumble. Scott Tasso has built a new larger ticket booth as the older booth had seen better days. The new ticket booth will merge with the water tower in looks and can occommodate everything need to run the Shay teams activities. Thank you Scott!
Our final show of the year was held held October 13th and 14th celebrating “A Time of Harvest”. Special events were held for children on Saturday including the Pedal Tractor Pull, Harvest Rides, Needle in the Haystack, & other games and events for children including Pumpkin Face Painting and a Barrel Train Ride. Rough and Tumble equipment will be in operation from steam trains, gas engines, and the model shops to gas engines, steam traction engines, and more. More information is available here. The Highlight reel of the time of Harvest show is below.
We are saddened to announce that long time member Ernest W. Reynolds passed away Friday january 19th, 2018. More information is available here. Ernie was a farmer and had also worked for Farm Bureau. He retired from Leon C. Landis, Inc. Ernie was an active 80-year member of Middle Octorara Presbyterian Church, where he was an ordained elder and served on the Pastor Nominating Committee. He also taught men's Bible class for several years. Ernie belonged to the Rough & Tumble Engineers Assoc. and the Solanco Sportsman's Assoc. He was a self-taught handyman and enjoyed spending time at his cabin in Huntingdon County.
The 69th Annual Threshermen's Reunion was held featuring “Construction Equipment” with Hercules Gas Engines and celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Otto and Langen Atmosperic Engine August 16-19, 2017. The show was extremely well attended and all the exhibits were running around the grounds. The reunion photos and videos are available to watch here.
Exhibits included Steam Traction Engines, Antique Tractors, Threshing Machines, Hit & Miss Gas Engines and Large Gas Engines. Ride Two Steam Trains that loop our grounds, Visitors watched the Saw Mill and Shingle Mill in Operation. Visited the Model Shop , Antique Car Museum, and the Large Stationary Steam Engine Museum. Saw the featured Rumely Display, Stationary Balers, Antique Wagons and the new Line Shaft Machine Shop. There were many activities for Children including the Children’s Pedal Pull.
Blacksmiths pounded Iron, the Huge Flea Market 2-3 acres and had over 100 vendors. There were the large John Deere and IHC Displays, Numerous Craft Displays. Antique Earth Moving Equipment in Action. The Daily Parade of Power and the Pageant of Threshing. Enjoyed the Good Home Made Food with Plenty of Shade around the grounds. Evening activities included Tractor Pulls, Steam Games, and Antique Tractor Pulls.
The 2018 R&T Brochure is also now available here and can also be found in our Resources. You can see all the show schedules for the year and information on our 70th Annual Threshermen’s Reunion. In 2018 we will be featuring Oliver, Cletrac and Hart Parr equipment on display and running. We will have all our normal displays up and running. The 2018 poster is available here.
Would you like to join or renew your Rough and Tumble membership? Click here for a printable Membership Application to mail, or Click here to Sign-up or Renew your Membership on-line via PayPal with your credit card.
Membership in Rough and Tumble is widespread both by age and geographically. It is not unusual to see three and even four generations of a family riding around the grounds on a huge steam traction engine during events. Likewise, the parking lot is full of cars and motor homes from all over the United States and Canada during Annual Reunions. Membership in Rough and Tumble renewable at the beginning of each year and is payable at the gift shop, via mail or now by PayPal with your credit card thru our web site. We also offer Lifetime memberships. Membership brings many benefits.
Please note if you renew your membership online via paypal before you receive your mailed membership card just prior to a show, you should bring your PayPal receipt for entrance.
All of us at R&T would like to thank all the Members, Volunteers, and Visitors that came to Rough and Tumble this year. It was a safe year with continued growth in the organization with big plans for fall and future shows.
Rough and Tumble held our first Gas Engine School 2017 offered anywhere in the US for the operation, safety, and care of gas engines. Students operated and learned about engines from our unique oldest gas engine in the US, the Otto and Langen built in 1867 to our large 485 hp Cooper engine. Students with the O&L, Cooper, Twin Miller, 3 ball Klein, 15 HP Reid and some small engines as well. There is so much to learn between anything from ignition to timing of these industrial beautiful engines of the age. The Volunteers that take care of these engines are several of the most knowledgeable people in the use of these engines. You can sign on to our 2018 Gas Engine School here.
Steam School 2017, was held on Saturday May 20th and Sunday May 21th this year. Classes started at 9:00 am on Saturday in the St Johns meeting room. Steam School day 2 began Sunday at 8:30 at the Steam Traction Engine area. The class was full with great students and dedicated instructors and a good time was had by all. The 2018 Steam School is filled! I More info on the 2019 school is available here. The video of our 2017 school is available here.
The Rough and Tumble Pulling Committee is pleased to announce that starting this year (2017) we will be including Classic Tractors to our pulls along with the Antique Tractors. A new web page has been added for Tractor Pulling Information under R&T Information and can also be accessed here which included links to regulations.
There is new flooring, fresh paint, new shelving, and the counters were moved to improve access. The new windows and air conditioning have been installed also.
It is the time of year around Rough and Tumble to prepare for winterizing. Volunteers are working on projects around the grounds preparing for 2018 activities. Jim Wiest is the Volunteer Coordinator and is working on a variety of projects around the grounds. Every weekends Saturday Volunteer Activities can be seen on the Volunteer section in Saturday Volunteer Activities here. A special thanks for all the Volunteers that help make Rough and Tumble the great and unique organization it is today! We have several projects going on this year and more information can be found on our Volunteer Info page above. Another Volunteer with projects around the grounds to connect with is Wayne Hartshorne who is working in various areas.
Rough and Tumble has received some great reviews on TripAdvisor. We thank all the many people that visit our unique Museum every year. The link to TripAdvisor with our reviews can be found here.
The Patriot News of Central PA wrote a special article on what Rough and Tumble has to offer a visit to our grounds during shows. You can read their article "Rough and Tumble's show of power is like no other ", here.
Our Circa 1900's,Line Shaft "Machine Works" continues to grow and add more equipment. We would like to thank R & T Director Bud Burdy and his team for the beautiful job they are doing after much research on how to design and build the shop. You can see project photos in the Photo Albums. They are finding more interesting circa equipment as the project progresses. Notethe ceiling mounted line shafting.
Bill Hazzard and his team have worked the Cooper Engine Project for many years from dismantling it in Ohio, to bringing it back to R & T, pouring concrete and installing the engine. Bill was able to turn over the engine with compressed air in the summer of 2012 to prove the mechanics. The next step was to complete the exhaust, fuel supply lines, and cooling system which is now complete. The engine first ran for 30 minutes on 7/20/13 as shown on the video. Look at the Cooper Engine Project and New Running Videos in our photo section. New Notes and an engine diagram were added to photos pages.
A Great Piece of Cooper History from Roger Kriebel has been added regarding the Cooper Engine. You can see that information here.