Report of Annual Reunion of Tri-State Historical Steam Engine Association, Inc.

Case engine

John C. Setlow

Content Tools

R. D. 1, Box 470, Charleroi, Pa. 15022.

During two days, September 22, 23, nearly 6,000 persons could relive what many had experienced fifty and more years ago. Two steam threshing rigs, with other related old-time machines were demonstrating an important part of farming and living that was common up to the year 1930. Hookstown Grange Fair Grounds had become the scene of another successful exhibition, the 16th, that the Association has planned and presented. And it was evident, from the interest shown by spectators, that this was the best show which we have presented.

The weather was ideal, the spacious grounds were in excellent condition, and carefully-planned arrangements resulted in a continuous, smooth-running program throughout each day. Impressive flag-raising ceremonies by scout organizations and devotional exercises conducted by Rev. Howard Eschbaugh, were the first orders of each day. As usual, threshing and baling are still the highlights of the day. Then came the sawmill and shingle making operations. Model demonstrations and flour and cornmeal grinding completed the regularly planned program. The ever popular parade of all engines, tractors and horses twice daily around the track area never fails to interest all who see it.

For additional interest, we mention the wood chopping demonstrations by Cogar Brothers, national champions from West Virginia, the garden tractor pull on Friday evening, and the ever popular musical entertainment throughout Saturday by Bill Bums and his Green Valley Band. Then the Annual Square Dance was held on Saturday evening with music provided by the same band.

The Women's Auxiliary conducted another successful bazaar and handled subscriptions to the magazines and memberships in the association. Delicious meals were provided on the grounds by the Hookstown Grange and the Cross Creek Village Grange. Gate receipts and parking cars were in charge of the highly efficient committee from Hookstown Volunteer Fire Department. Numerous dealers in antiques and many other useful items were in abundance within the hall.

Pictured is the Setlow family's thrashing outfit on Central Ridge at Peck, Idaho, (near Orofino, Idaho); It is a fifteen horsepower Case engine and a twenty-eight inch Case steel separator which was bought new in 1908, the year the picture was taken. It shows only part of the crew. The engine was fired with straw. Bundles were used on short moves, supplied from a wagon like the one that goes along the side or ahead of the engine. My brother, Albert, was the engineer. John Schadt was the separator tender and is steering the engine. Harry Fine was the fireman. I do not now know who the others were.

The bundles of grain were in shocks in the field and hauled by wagons, to the thrashing machine. The grain was put in sacks. I think the two men riding on the separator were the sack sewers. There was a cook and dining wagon so the crew lived with the thrashing machine. They usually slept on their own bedding, spread out on straw from the straw stack.

The terrain was very hilly so four horses were used to pull the water wagons. There were two water wagons so one could be filled, while the other one was supplying the engine. When a good supply of water was at the engine, the water hauler went back and got the cook and dining wagon. Courtesy of John C. Setlow, 593 S. Paddock Street, Pontiac,Michigan 48053.

Fifteen steam traction engines and as many gas tractors were on hand to go through their paces, and Dean Redd showed his Galion Roller and Keystone Well Driller, after an absence of a few years. The 110 Case was among the group and made several appearances on the fan. Tom Hatcher and Sons, Tommy and Glenn always please the crowd when they show those beautiful scale models of the 65 Case engine. And Russell Gay was on hand with his model traction engine.

We are indebted to Mr. John Hunter and Rambo Brothers, who furnished the oats and wheat for the threshing. J. L. Cotter had his interesting display of several stationary steam engines in operation and the number of gas engines increases with each year.

Everything continues to build up to a highly entertaining and educational show, and the favorable reception by the public has again assured the officers that there must be another exhibition in 1973. Accordingly, plans are already well under way for a similar event.

Officers of the Association are: Lester Lee, President; Willis Abel, Vice-President; Evelyn Crow, Treasurer; Paul Crow, Secretary. Directors are: David McDonald, Glenn Fullerton, John Sell, Paul Kabo, Tom Weaver, Craig Kern, William Mungai, Clark Colby and Charles Seeley.

Nello Mungai is the Manager and announcer of the show.