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. 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 69th year in 2017 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 69th R & T Threshermen's Reunion is the 2nd Oldest show in the Country to be held again August 16th to the 19th in 2017 featuring “Construction Equipment” with many unique antique diggers and crawlers running and featuring Hercules Gas Engines. We are also celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Otto and Langen atmospheric engine running at Rough and Tumble and will have two engines at the show.
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.
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 August and future shows.
With great sadness, we are sharing notice of Carl Simpson’s passing. After retirement, Carl was active and held many positions in the Rough and Tumble Museum in Gap, PA. He had a love of Conestoga Wagons and collected antique rifles, trains, and tractors. He was mechanically inclined and could fix almost anything that had moving parts. More information is available here.
The Rough and Tumble web site has a new look and feel. The updated site is now Google mobile friendly and self-adjusting for all size screens from cell phones to tablets and large computer screens. Google analytics confirms that 52% of visits over the past year to our site were from computers, 36% from mobile phones, and 12% from tablets or 48% from mobile devices, nearly half the visits.
The updated site now has 20 large slides in rotation highlighting different areas of Rough and Tumble. In addition all photos from 2017 forward in the photos and videos area, will now be larger in size to view. Many of the web pages like the Gift Shop have a new highlighted look. The site is also faster loading for all but the older generation of computers. All the videos are also larger in viewing size now on the website for all years.
It is easy for people to join Rough and Tumble and members to update their individual or family memberships. After signing in, membership can be purchased on your credit card and membership cards will be mailed to you. After signing in, members can access “The Whistle” and Board meeting minutes along with committee information. Take a look at the updated website for all the yearly events and we hope to see you at the shows this year!
The first event of the year is an Antique Tractor Pull scheduled for Saturday April 22nd. Weigh in is between 8 am. and 10 am. and the pulls start at 10 am. Trophies and Ribbons will be awarded for each class. Any questions, please contact Walt Wilson at 610 283 0342 or Irvin Martin 717 575 3455. More information 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.
The Spring Steam-Up will be held May 12th and 13th at Rough and Tumble. Weather permitting, we will be plowing the adjacent field with Steam Traction Engines and Antique Tractors which is always great to see these engines working hard. All the buildings will be open with exhibits around the grounds. On display and in operation are steam and gas engines, tractors, antique cars, models, blacksmith, saw mill, and Little Toot and the Shay! More info is available here.
The Gift Shop will be remodeled this spring. You will see a beautiful redesigned and updated shop after the work is completed. Wayne Hartshorne is heading up the project and if you are interested in helping, please contact him.
There will be new flooring, fresh paint, new shelving, with the counters moved to improve access. The new windows have been installed.
It is the time of year around Rough and Tumble to prepare for the shows. Volunteers are working on projects around the grounds preparing for 2017 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 on the gift shop.
The 2017 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 69th Annual Threshermen’s Reunion. In 2017 we will be featuring Construction Equipment on display and running.
Rough and Tumble had a very successful 2016 68th Annual Threshermen’s Reunion. The Reunion was the 2016 Steam Expo where we we had over 107 Steam Engines. This was the one of the largest gathering of Steam Traction Engines in the US! This was an exciting show with many types of steam engines on the grounds.
The 68th Threshermen's Reunion set more new records in 2016. Another great weather week with no rain during the show and temperatures in the 80's! Flea market filled to capacity. Most exhibited equipment. Parking lot's filled to over flow capacity. Parade stands filled. The widest collection of parade machinery almost anywhere. Even our new web site broke records with over 1,800 visitors per day during the reunion. In 2017 we will be featuring Construction Equipment on display and running. Photos and Videos of the show have been added to the 2016 Photos and Videos page here.
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.