PAM HOLDS FIRST ANNUAL THRESHERMAN FESTIVAL

PAM

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In the fall of 1978, members of the Mid-State Tractor Club of Illinois gathered together for a meeting to form a museum for antique farm machinery.

The museum was named in honor of a life-time resident of Christian County, Paul Sckowska. Official title of the museum was the Paublo Agricultural Museum.

Paublo is the name given to Sckowska by a brother-in-law, when he lived in Texas during the ages of 12 through 17.

Agricultural is used because of his love for farming the land and love for the country ways of life in general.

Museum is due to the fact that it is an institution devoted to the procurement, care and display of objects of lasting interest or value.

The museum is located 2 miles south of Blue Mound and mile south of Route 48. A building measuring 60 x 130' was built and donated to the association by Sckowska, along with four acres of land and its contents.

Officers of the association were elected and committees were formed for a festival, which would follow in the summer of 1979.

A large rain came shortly before the festival which was held July 28 and 29, sending down the hopes of having a large turnout for the first festival. Yet, the days that followed were ones of sunshine and the festival was held right on schedule.

The following events were held during the festival: sawmilling, shingle milling, threshing grain, fans for testing horsepower, model steam engines, a horseshoe contest, flea markets and concessions.

The grounds were opened at 7:00 Saturday morning and 5:00 Sunday morning. Not long after opening the gate each morning, one could hear and easily see the sounds and sights of yesteryear's agriculture.

Five steam engines were on hand for the festival. Herb Beckmeyer brought his Baker 2175; Ray Dement had his Case 40 HP; Wilbur Jolly brought a Minneapolis 20 HP; Joe Rittenhaus had a 30-60 Aultman Taylor and J. Everett Brown, local member, had his 18 HP Keck-Gonnerman. Russell Helms was ill and unable to bring his large steam engine.

Those bringing small steam engines were Lloyd Huntly, with a Nichols & Shepard and Mr. Fisher with a Case.

A Heider tractor ran the shingle mill, which was operated by Mr. Bragg of Atwood.

A dedication ceremony was held at 2:00 Sunday afternoon in front of the museum. Rev. Richard Denmark of Blue Mound opened the ceremony with a welcome and introduction of Mr. & Mrs. Paul Sckowska and various other association members.

Following, a presentation of the museum and land was given by Sckowska. Clayton Allgood, president of PAM, gave the acceptance.

The founder of the association is a man devoted to preserving agriculture. Paul Sckowska was born on the farm, August 14, 1905. He began farming for his uncle in 1922. He often speaks of having desires of going to college to be a surveyor, yet due to lack of money, he immediately started farming.

Five years later he was married to Valera Armstrong. After the Depression, as things began to lighten on the Sckowskas financially, they purchased a small farm from her father.

They turned it into a dairy farm, and within a few years the herd had grown from 4 to 45. Sckowska became well known throughout the state. He would begin the fair circuit each year at Rushville and end it with the DuQuoin State Fair in September. He credits his knowledge of cattle from his helper and friend, Clayton Allgood.

Sckowska farmed actively until 1975. It was at this time he began to collect antique tractors. At the present time he has a total of 21 antique tractors and all are runable. The tractor which he chose to have the honor of being displayed in the front window is a 1924 4-wheel drive Massey Harris. Sckowska also helped organize the Mid-State Tractor Club, which centralizes in Blue Mound.

PAM is now planning its 2nd annual Thresherman's Festival for July 25, 26, 27, 1980. An antique tractor pull will be added to this year's festival events.

Future plans of the association include the building and preserving of a small town.