Saginaw Valley

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Secretary, 515 Nobobish Ave., Bay City, Michigan 48706

The 1974 annual reunion of the Saginaw Valley Live Steam Club got underway on Friday August 9th and ran through Sunday. The weather was perfect for a steam show as it was neither too hot or raining. The show drew a good crowd of enthusiastic steam fans from Canada, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Nebraska and as far away as Arizona. Our own state of Michigan was well represented.

We were extremely happy to have Mr. Leroy Blaker of Alvordton, Ohio visit us. Mr. Blaker as most of you know is a thresherman and sawmill operator of many years. He held the first steam show at his farm in June of 1945. Our thanks to Mr. Blaker, for this was the very beginning of our wonderful hobby when grown men can play, reminisce and recall the 'good old days of steam on the farm'.

Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Hoffer of Toledo, Ohio were with us for the three days of the show. Mr. and Mrs. Hoffer are the president and secretary respectively of the NTA.

We had 14 large traction engines on the infield of the Caro, Michigan fairgrounds all under steam and operating. There were 6 Port Hurons, 2 Case, 1 Russell Compound, 1 Nichols and Shepard 16-60, 1 Advance and 2 Advance Rumleys.

Mark McCarty of Ubly, Mich brought his half size scale model Port Huron. Mr. Robert Nelson brought his sawmill and Port Huron engine. Mr. Nelson is from Lapeer, Mich. The sawmill was a big attraction for the visitors on all three days.

William Kuhl of Sebewaing, Mich. brought his blower fan which attracted a great deal of attention as it is geared to load and unload when running. It really makes an engine sound good if the governor is working properly. It was one of the favorites with the 'steam buffs' taking recordings of the various engines belted to it.

Fred Mote of Bayfield, Ontario, Canada brought his shingle mill and made shingles for the crowds pleasure from cedar he obtained from his own swamp. The Meadows Stone Mill was busy Saturday and Sunday grinding good old fashioned corn meal.

Each day at 2:00 p.m. there was a parade of the engines, tractors and equipment on the trace track in front of the grandstand and was narrated by Mrs. George Pearce and John For see. Also on the infield was a large display of gas engines and tractors all running for the pleasure of the visitor's inspection and conversation. Several well made models were on display and running. Dinner was served at noon each day by the Kedron Chapter of the Eastern Star of Caro, Michigan.

The Sunday activities began at 10:00 a.m. with a Flag ceremony followed by a religious service conducted by Dwight For see, a divinity student. Dwight is the son of Harry For she, our vice-president and his wife, Mildred. A hymn was sung a a cappella by Dwight and his wife, Marilyn, followed by a short ser month. After the service the engineers began to get their engines in operation which continued for the balance of the day, threshing grain, sawing lumber and just playing. As the activities closed down late Sunday p.m. many visitors still lingered reluctant to leave.

There is something about coal smoke and hot cylinder oil that brings back that nostalgia in most of the older people. We were all tired but happy and hope we gave our visitors a good show. We certainly tried hard and we thank them all for coming.