R. R. 4, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.
May I have the pleasure of reporting on a fine steam show which is building up at Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, Canada under the guidance of John Stewart.
I arrived at Maple Creek Antique Tractor Museum, which is located 2 miles south of Maple Creek at 10:00 a.m., August 31 and Mr. Stewart showed up shortly after and we started to work on the engines, a 25 x 90 Nichols & Shepard steamer required a considerable amount of work plus a 20 x 80 Nichols Shepard and 25 x 75 Case, 22 x 65 Case all needed pipe work etc. We worked late each night on the gas tractors also and Mr. Stewart had just acquired a 20 x 40 flat opposed Case gas tractor and we timed it and repaired the carburetor etc.
On Friday about noon Mick Smeltzer of Ogema, Saskatchewan showed up so this helped considerably and Mick went ahead with the work on the steamers. My pal, George Dunlap, from Saskatoon showed up Friday night and Saturday was steam and gas-up day at which time all minor things were finished up. Saturday night Arlo Jurney and Ernie Walters arrived and I turned my steamer and my fireman, Mr. Charle Young of Empress, Alberta over to them so the three of them took charge. John Stewart had asked me if I would act as Engine straw boss and help him keep things organized and I was glad to.
My engineers and firemen consisted of George Dunlap (Saskatoon), Mick Smeltzer (Ogema), Bob Service (Gull Lake), Charle McCoy (Saskatoon), Happy Robinson (Medicine Hat, Alberta), Charle Young (Empress, Alberta), Jack Norquay (Medecine Hat, Alberta), Arlo Jurney (Calgary, Alberta), Ernie Walters (Calgary, Alberta), and Fred Freschette (Red Deer, Alberta).
We had lost of help on the gas engines one man named Alan Jamieson from Port Dovel, Ontario plus A. L. Smiley of Robsart, Saskatchewan, John Olson of Maple Creek, Stanley Soum of Eastend, Vince Sullivan of Climax, Orval Johnson of Broderick, Saskatchewan and many others whom I did not know.
And to round out our crew, who should show up but two good friends, Leo Casey of Plato, Saskatchewan and Wilbur Frew of Pense, Saskatchewan.
These two gentlemen plus George Dunlap are members of the Western Development Museum Pioneera at Saskatoon and have spent many years with that show. So we opened the show Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. with Mr. Jim Carroll, an auctioneer at Maple Creek who was the commentator and had his truck rigged up fine and was doing a good job of keeping the crowd informed. We appointed Leo Casey and Wilbur Frew the official judges and away we went with the steam belting contest there were 7 engineers entered and they all did a fine job and the contest was a crowd pleaser. The contest was won by F. M. Freschette of Red Deer (Engineer) and Charle Young of Empress, Alberta as beltman.
We than moved to the Moody hand-feed thresher run by a 8 H.P. 1 HC Engine. This hand feed thresher really drew the crowd as it takes one man to feed the bundles in and one man with a fork moving the straw from the rear.
From this event we moved to the sawmill which was powered by a 1924 20 x 40 model oil Pull and the mill ran nice and smooth and some nice lumber was sawed. As this was going on, there were various tractors being startedso there was no lack of excitement. We soon stopped for dinner and I must say Mrs. Stewart and the Local Ladies really put on a wonderful meal for all Engineers and help. I wish to thank all these ladies as it was a real job feeding the crews. Also Mr. Stewart paid the concession for anything the crews ate between meals.
After dinner we lined up all the engines for the Grand Parade and it went very smoothly with the 4 steamers in the lead and about 20 gas tractors plus antique cars and trucks, which were restored beautifully.
The women's stooking contest was next and it was really interesting as some of these ladies left no doubt in one's mind that they had stooked before. The winner in this event was Mrs. Marie Girvdot.
I moved the engines and crew to the field and started the threshing with George Dunlap and Mick Smeltzer on the 22 x 65 Case steamer belted to a 40' Case thresher this is a very large machine, also the 30 x 60 model E Rumely oil Pull was belted to the Rumely Separator and both crews made the straw fly.
The 25 x 75 Case Steamer with Bob Service and Charle McCoy pulled the Plow and also the 25 x 90 Nichols and Shepard with Charle Young, Arlo Jurney and Ernie Walters alternated on the plow. These engines really sounded nice on the plow.
We then had the threshing competition between the steam and gas engine. The gas engine crew won the contest Vince Sullivan Engineer, Orvill Johnson Beltman, Sid Hanson Pitcher and he did pitch the bundles.
Then we had the men's competition of stooking this event was won by John Olson who sure could set them up. We then moved back to the Museum yard where the sawmill was operating and also the hand fed Moody Separator was threshing away. From here we went into the Building and there is a beautiful British Model it was operating on steam and it is a Burrel showman's engine and it is a work of art. This model was made by Ashley Butterwick of Nemiscomb, Alberta. There also was a model of a Rumely oil pull and thresher operating electrically but it did sound just like the big one with the heartbeat and all. Also there is a 3' model of a 65 Case which is nearing completion and it will be a nice one John Stewart is building this model. There were displays of handicrafts and antiques which made up an interesting building to walk through. Outside was John Stewart's large flatbed trailer with 30 different types of stoves and heaters which were very unusual. There sure were some fancy ones.
The judges, Leo Casey and Wilbur Frew did a wonderful job and our thanks are extended and we do hope that Leo and Wilbur will return next year and give us their expert judgement again.
The Three Hansen Brothers, Pete, Floyd and Sid were always ready to help in any way they could to keep things going. In fact, Pete was coming around the separator when he said to me, he should have been named Gofer and I asked him why and he said everyone tells him to gofer this and gofer that. Ha! Ha!
Then to all the people who helped so faithfully that I did not meet or know let me say that no amount of thanks by John or myself can repay you for helping this show.
The aim of John Stewart and the show are the same as many shows, it is to preserve the past and present it to the public so many can see how it was and the type of machinery that men sweated over so as to cultivate this wonderful country.
John is very dedicated in his aims to improve and enlarge his show and I'm sure with the support that is shown, that this show will grow until it is one of the best shows in Saskatchewan. It takes time to grow and we are all behind John Stewart.
So see You all there next year at a Bigger and Better Show.