In 1936 and 1937, the Rodeo in Augusta was put on by Lou Randall, who owned the Buckhorn Bar, with the help of the Legion, Art and Tot Nett and Walt McManus, who was postmaster at that time. The rodeo grounds then were where the Little League field is at the time. Gates from the Great Northern and snow fence made up the arena.
In 1938, the American Legion bought the land where the arena is now. It was voted to produce a rodeo that same year, but was objected to by the Adjutant, Guy Crowe, because the Legion Post had a cash balance of $3.75. A motion was presented by Legionnaire Tot Nett to spend the $3.75 for beer and still put on the rodeo. The motion was carried.
Pat Swan was hired to get out the timber, and the building of the arena was done by Legionnaires. There were no seats at that time, so everyone sat in or on their cars or on the ground.
Stock was picked up locally by Tot Nett, Art Nett, Bing Wellman, and Bud Swanson, including some horses that the owners didn’t know were being used for bucking stock. At that time there was also a shortage of contestants, so Legionnaires would comb the bushes to find some cowboys that had celebrated a little too much and put them aboard the bucking stock.
The rodeo has progressed since then until we now have one of the finest arenas in the Northwest and have become one of the biggest one-day rodeos in the U.S. and Canada.