They actually had two of them, and both had been partially re-constructed. I introduced myself to a local farmer that was helping there and told him that my dad had a similar baler when I was a small boy. His first question was, "do you have any photos of the baler?" It was obvious that they are rebuilding the unit based upon what they logically feel needs to be there. They have done a good job.
For those of you that don't grasp what I'm talking about, a stationary baler is parked (tied down) and power supplied by a belt from a tractor. Then the hay is brought in from the field and pitched into the baler before it was hoisted into the hay mow. Using a baler, I suspect that a farmer could store 4 or 5 times as much hay in the mow.
It may not mean much to the rest of you, but to me it was a link into my past. Several years ago I saw a partial version of one at Pioneer Village in Minden, NE. It is just a piece of farm machinery that was rapidly made obsolete as farm machinery improved to make "haying" for efficient.
There are obviously some very talented farmers in the Nappanee area because of the types of rework that had gone into the tractors. In one case, they had an "Oil-Pull Rumley" tractor, which was originally built in Waterloo, IA. It was apparent that he had built a new frame for the unit plus a gear mounting plate. The gear mount was made out of one inch steel, roughly 3 feet square, something more then what a man could handle alone.
They also had an operating threshing machine The thing about a threshing machine is that it generates lots of dust. Farmers always tried to site the threshing machine so that the straw stack and chaff did not blow into the work area. As I watched the threshing machine operate, it didn't take much imagination to visualize how dirty a job it could be.
They had a mix of old steam engines and old gas engines. I tried to avoid getting too close to the steamers. I know that at Mt. Pleasant Iowa, if you bring a steamer in to their "Old Thresher's Days", it has to be inspected by the state to insure that the boiler meets state safety standards. In this case, I'm not certain that much attention is paid to the details.
In a nutshell, they made my day.