Projects

Changing Gears


A few months ago I made the decision to step down from the board of directors of the Winnebago County Historical & Archaeological Society. I have been a board members since April 2014, and I felt it was my time to step away from that role and just participate as a volunteer. I’ve made so many new friends in my time serving that organization and have worked with my colleagues to implement changes to help sustain the organization. I plan to continue on as the volunteer archivist and help organize and catalog the society’s archival collection–BIG task!

Another reason for my departure is that by next March we will have another little guy to take care of, and my Dad priorities are first and foremost. I should still be able to squeeze in some fun history work in now and then. So what do I want to work on and accomplish for 2021?

Family History Book
I have been working on the Frederick Family history the last couple of years. I’ve met with and talked to cousins, aunts, and uncles. I’ve been working to put this thing in book form for my sons and my family. I had a really good start on it by using MyCanvas. Unfortunately, the company had to upgrade its website and platform used to build this, and I lost the work I had been working on the last couple of years. Luckily, I started a new book using software on my desktop computer–it is actually turning out better! I’ve traced the Frederick family back to 18th century Prussia–it’s exhilarating to find this stuff. I just have to figure out if I want to squeeze this all into one book, or should I break it up into books by generations? Any suggestions?

I am excited to keep sharing what I learn about my family, because maybe it will inspire my readers to dig into their family’s past. I’ll try to share some tips and tricks along the way, too!

Rebuild My Allis Chalmers B210
My blog used to be dedicated to my Allis-Chalmers obsession–just do a search of “Allis-Chalmers” to see. I’ve posted everything from tractors Dad, my brother, Adam, and I restored to various topics of Allis-Chalmers history. I want to start incorporating that back into my writing. That is such a big part of who I am and my interests. Working on and using the old Allis-Chalmers farm equipment on the family farm are some of the greatest memories I have.

My brother helped me find an old Allis-Chalmers B210 lawn tractor last winter, and somehow we ended up talking the guy into giving it to us for free as a project. Adam has slowly been taking the engine apart to rebuild, but I’d like to take that project over now that I have a shop area. I have an Allis-Chalmers 710 lawn tractor that also needs an engine overhaul–a project for a later date. Maybe I will have to get another tractor so my boys will both have one to drive. haha!

Writing/Blogging/Learning
I know I say this every year, “I want to write more!” I really do want to. Blogging can be lot of work. At one point I thought about somehow making this a source of income, but I know that would take the fun out of it. Plus, I have a full-time job and kids…let’s be real. Covid-19 put a damper on research. As much as I rely on the internet resources I also go to the library and other places in person to get my info. Hopefully 2021 will be safer to do that.

This month is my 9th year of blogging! That’s pretty awesome! I have my wife to thank for getting me started with this. We were juniors in college when she suggested that I try it. She had a class where she had to do it as an assignment, so I did it for fun. I’ve spent many nights up late researching and putting a post together. There will be many more! It’s my hope that I can cultivate a passion for history in my boys. Maybe they will be helping their “Da” blog someday.

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