Mt. Pleasant, Iowa
TOTAL ATTENDANCE compared favorable with other years at Midwest Old Settlers & Threshers Association Reunion held September 5-6-7 and 8, at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, and that on Saturday drew the largest crowd ever to attend during its seven years.
New features were, a shingle mill in operation, grinding wheat in a flour mill, and cutting block wood with a drag saw, all under steam operation in addition to the regular ones of Prony brake test, Baker fan, threshing grain, sawmill operation both large, miniature and buzz.
Fifty engines took part in the Cavalcade of Power which included over 30 steam engines besides miniatures and gas traction engines of odd design and operation. Thirty antique cars joined in parading before the packed grandstand and the crowded infield where spectators lined the track four-deep. On two occasions the procession was led by Mt. Pleasant High School's famous 60-piece marching band, with members dressed in engineer's caps lettered 'Old Threshers', red bandana neckerchiefs, and blue jeans.
Balancing an engine on a teeter-totter and threshing with a hand-cranked 1831 model groundhog thresher were features before the grandstand audience.
As in other years visitors came from near and far and some had not missed a reunion. First-time visitors were amazed at what they saw and expressed their intentions of returning next year for the full four days. This is already set for September 4-5-6-7. 1957. Canada and Mexico were represented and other distant places which include as far away as Washington state, Montana, Idaho and Pennsylvania. Approximately 2800 visitors joined the association during the reunion, paying $1.00 and helping promote the event which is non-profit and run with out charge to visitors. It is possible to attend without cost except for food. And there was plenty of it available 'Old Threshers' meals were served by five local church groups in large tents practically beside the engines.
There was always something doing from early morning until late in the evening parades on two nights and pictures shown in one of the tents, and a square dance at the nearby armory on the other two nights. The site is the county fair grounds at the edge of town. It has considerable natural shade. Here park and plank benches were arranged so that there was plenty of room to rest and still see some of the activity.
In two rooms of a large shelter house were antique exhibits of pioneer farm and home furnishings, dishes, glassware, Indian relics, pistols, rifles and fowling pieces of early days, with identification and interested people to show and explain them to visitors. Part of the time organ music was played which included popular and request numbers. A demonstration of carding and spinning wool using an old time spinning wheel was again a featured attraction. An exhibit of various native rocks and gem stones attracted many.