We, Joe Keller and Marilyn (Keller) Loegering (photo), have been working together for several years gathering machines and documentation to preserve the history of the skid-steer loader invented and patented by our father, Louis Keller, and uncle, Cyril Keller. Both Louis and Cyril are still able to share their knowledge and experiences, much of which has been recorded in video as well as other forms of documentation. We feel very blessed that we are able to gather so much information first hand. It has been very rewarding to be involved in the step by step process with the actual inventors and watching as they are able to be a part of the preservation. At first they did not think anyone would want to see "those old machines". As they see how the history is appreciated by others, they are only now realizing the impact the skid-steer has made on the world.
Our first permanent display is housed at the Sargent County Historical Society, Forman, ND, seven miles from the Bobcat skid-steer loader manufacturing facility in Gwinner, ND. Many of the administrators and volunteers have been greatly influenced by the Bobcat skid-steer loader in their lives and families. They are assisting in preserving their own history and proud to be part of it.
In this process we have also had assistance from:
North Dakota Heritage Center, Bismarck, ND
North Dakota Heritage Center has rotating temporary displays that remain for at least a year. The North Dakota Innovators exhibit opened November 14, 2003 in conjunction with the North Dakota Governors Conference. The exhibit includes an oral history and display featuring the family and business history of the Keller Loader, later known as the Melroe Bobcat skid-steer loader.
Bonanzaville USA, West Fargo, ND
We are excited to be planning a permanent display at Bonanzaville USA. This location has easy public access and land space to accommodate a building large enough to house the complete history. Most of the items currently at the North Dakota Heritage Center and many more will later be relocated to Bonanzaville. A building measuring at least 40' x 80' will be needed to house this significant part of Minnesota, North Dakota, and World history. A fund for tax deductible donations has been established for this purpose.
You can be a part of history too!
More information on donations