The 1967 Fort Scott Show of the old superannuated steam engines, tractors, threshers, gas-engines, machinery and antiques was disagreeably dominated by a lour inch rain-fall beginning Thursday and ending Saturday evening. The last day of the show was overcast with a cold north wind to dishearten even the most rugged show visitors.
The show ground was completely covered by a mass of lakes, ponds and ankle deep mud, navigable only with boots, waders, galoshes, high-top overshoes or barefoot. Resembling a quagmire or swamp, with the old historical relics dotted everywhere, placidly waiting in this environment, to be brought into action.
Only those who have attended a rain soaked show, know and fully realize the difficulties involved, can truly and wholeheartedly appreciate a fair weather show. Ticket sales were suspended and admission to the show was by donation and contributions.
The steam engines and heavy machinery that were placed in their proper position prior to the show were put into action to entertain the rugged individuals whose enthusiasm could not be dampened. The Springfield Machinery Company, the sawmill head-quarters for this area, almost continuously sawed logs into lumber, being undaunted by the inclement weather conditions.
The steam engine operators steamed up the engines assigned to them, to operate as stationary engines. Very few attempts were made to traction the engines. They had the time and were enthused and pleased to explain each and every part of an engine to those interested in knowing what makes a steam engine tick, Resembling a school of instruction.
No situation or circumstance is so bad, even under such adverse conditions, that a person cannot find a bright side and have something good and interesting to write about.
With nearly all of the engines and machinery at a stand still, and the inclement weather, there was very little smoke to inhale, very little sooty exhaust steam to soil a persons clothes and no dust to get into a persons eyes. Under these conditions it was a rare treat for the old engineers and threshermen to visit, make new friends, spin yarns, tell tall tales and reminisce of their experiences and accomplishments with the grand old engines and threshers of yesteryear.
It was interesting to listen to the old timers telling of the many times they have had engines mired down in soft wet places and the methods used, and the time involved in getting an engine out of the mud. Those incidents are never mentioned, and you never see a person running a sawmill wearing a slicker or raincoat, at a fair weather show.
Engines perform better and have more power, threshers run smoother and have more capacity and the grain is cleaner, when the stories are told, around a warm stove, by a group of old threshermen. This is one of the high-lights of a rain soaked show.
Even though the weather was bad, it was a grand opportunity to re-acquaint ourselves and visit with old friends and have an enjoyable and most profitable gathering. It can truthfully be said that this show was a thrilling success.
Mr. George R. Jackson, president of the Pioneer Harvest Fiesta, states 265 pieces of early american machines and equipment were on display. Mr. Jackson also supplied the picture showing the wet and muddy ground with pools of water everywhere.
Nearly everyone present, elected themselves as a committee of one, to bring others to make 1968 the biggest and best show that the Pioneer Harvest Fiesta has ever had.
FIRST SHOW HELD
By Ralph Smith, Glenford, Ohio 43739
The Glenford Lions Club sponsored the Hocking Valley Steam and Antique Power Club, for a first show being held Aug. 12-13, 1967 at the Glenford School grounds for a two day show. We had eight steam engines, three separators, (one a hand feed and straw carrier). We had only three gas tractors, but also seventeen men present with a collection of 73 gas engines, and two Delco Plants, plus six model steam engines. We thought this was very good for a first show, and was very proud of it.
We started with eight loads of wheat, but when one farmer needed his wagon that wheat was then transferred to the other seven wagons. They were then very large loads by this time.
We threshed 3 loads on Saturday and 4 on Sunday. The straw was all baled, so it could be moved off immediately.
One outstanding restoration was an 8 Horse-Power Screen cooled International Engine, displayed by the youngest member of the Hocking Valley Club, a high school Senior. This engine had belonged to this boys' Great Grandfather, thus making it more interesting. This engine and a stationary baler, baled most of the straw.
We had demonstrations of Electric cooking by the Ohio Power Co., demonstrations of weaving, and spinning, for the ladies.
Our plans are well under way for next year's show, which will be held Aug. 10-11, 1968. We know more about what is needed now to make a bigger and better show, and we are working hard toward this end. (This was the first show south of Interstate 70, and in this section of Ohio.
MY-2 BITS-WORTH. FOUR THRESHING BEES.'
By Clarence E. Mitcham, Route 1, Mead, Washington 99021
We took in the Bee at the William Raupp farm in Lewis County near Toledo, Wash, on Aug. 27th. They had a nice crowd and lots of things to see. The OLD TIME AUTOs were the best I have ever seen. It was hot and I mean hot and a breeze came up in the P.M. and covered the place with a fine coating of straw. They had a fine place to have a Bee but have no water or electricity. I burnt out my P.A. system and my broadcasting was a flop. We stayed all night Sun. with a steam friend in Van Couver Wn. and the next day stopped at Hood River, Oregon and picked up 2 boxes of pears 3 boxes of apples at my cousins place, the Ray Huffs. Then headed for Walla Walla. It was so hot in the canyon that if you had stopped you would have melted right there. The next day (Tue.) we stopped at Penawawa on the Columbia River and picked 3 boxes of peaches. This is the last year for fruit there as the Little Goose Dam will flood the orchards. We got home in P.M. and started canning fruit so we could leave on Friday for Orofono.
We got to Orofino about 6 P.M. on Friday and Joe Richardson met us and told us not to get our supper as the bunch was going to a restaurant. About 32 of us had dinner and when we went to pay for it we found that the bill had been paid. On Sat. the boys got everything ready for the big day. Had it all in place by 6 P.M. Then everybody got ready for the big dinner and meeting. We had a wonderful dinner and again the same thing, no charge. There was about 150 people there and we had a long meeting and a swell time. After the meeting we danced to a fine orchestra. Next morning we woke up to the music of men splitting wood and building fires in the engines. They had a dandy Bee and lots of things to see, a nice crowd and a fine day. Mr. Dan Nichols of Spokane had his display for the first time, John Uhlenkott had his Case port. fully restored and beautifully painted, also a small stationary engine connected to it and running. Joe had his 3 Case engines and all running also a small Advance. There were 3 or 4 engines from other parts of the country too. They had the big fan and the teeter-totter going all day. Joe went to a lot of work getting the field all wet down and electricity into the grounds. On Sun. nite they showed slides and movies on the grounds after dark. We left on monday in A.M. and Jack Berry (Our Sec.) and wife followed us home. We had a nice visit with them and that evening went over to Cecil Pounders and Jack got to see his collection. Next morning we went to town (Spokane) and to John Uhlenkoots place and Jack got a surprise here. If you ever want to see the work of a master go see his collection of small steam things and his wood working projects. They are out of this world. He is now building a 25 X 40 ft. garage to put his displays in. John Berry and wife left for home after a fine dinner at Uhlenknoots.
We left for Jones on Thursday the 21st of Sept. We stopped at Bridgeport Wn. to visit the Fred Schmidts. That afternoon they took us on a sight seeing trip to the town of Brewster Wn. Then to the new Satellite Communication station only a few miles out of Brewster. I didn't know there was anything like that in our North West. It is open to the public and the big 135 ton (Dish) antenna stands 10 stories high. Its really something to see. On Friday Mr. Jones had a Bee for the school kids in that district. They came in Buses From Riverside Omak Tonasket. Mel Anderson and Slim Beerbower were there to help. They had about 6 Agrt. agents from different districts and they told the kids all about how the grain was ground etc. Mr. Jones told them how the engine was fired and how it worked and how the grain came thru the separater. Then they hooked it up and threshed a small stack for the kids. 6-7-and 8 graders. The kids had a ball. They got a big kick out of the grain coming out of the spout. They filled their pockets and ate it. They all brought sack lunches. The schools furnished the drinks. I am sure glad I didn't have to clean those Buses. Why don't other districts do this before all our old Steam Friends are gone? We all went to the grange hall in Riverside Sat. nite. They had slides and movies after a nice lunch furnished by the ladies of the grange. We danced till 11 P.M. and called it quite. On Sun. the 24th we had a swell day and a nice crowd. Lots of displays. Mel Anderson had his hot air engine there-Dan Nichols had his display - Chas. Banta had his small enginesThe old car club was out in force. There were people there from Oregon Idaho Canada. Close to 1000 people saw wheat get spanked that day. At noon they had their famous pot luck dinner and you have to see it to believe it. The 4H club had a stand and sold drinks and eats too. There is something about Jones Bees that no other Bee had but I can't tell you what it is. Everybody is there for a good time and no one is a stranger. I hope I can go as long as he has them.
On Sept. 30th we went to Pounders and they got the engines all steamed up and threshed a little to see if it was ok. Then it started raining so we all gave up. It rained all nite till about 9 AM on Oct. 1 the sun came out off and on all day. We had a dandy crowd and a swell Bee, only two disappointments Kelso of Reardon and Anderson of Okanogan didn't get to bring their engines account of rain but Charles Banta - Henry Van Altwrost - John Uhlenkott - Dan Nichols of Spokane had their collections. Cecil Scott of Lewiston had his little steam engine and a pop corn poper and gave the kids popcorn all day. Norm Bjorneby of Spokane had his 85 year old high wheel hard rubber bicycle & road it up and down the road & people took pictures by the yard.
Charles Banta was in his glory as Cecil Pounder let him run the 18 hp Minnie, all day. A lot of steam Friends were there from all over the district. Colfax-Leweston Orofino-Lind-Reardan-Okanogan-Riverside-The Palouse-Colville and Montana & the Orcutts from Seattle had been to all the 4 Bees. About 2 PM we asked all the Steam Fiends to come to the Engine (Minnie) to get their picture taken and about 30 showed up and then we gave a wrist watch to Joe Ritchardson & was he surprised. It is a dandy called a ACRATON by BULOVA. It also has the day of the month on it, runs for 18 months on batteries. On the back is engraved (To Joe W.S.F.A. 1967) it is supposed to be the best watch money can buy. We had it since Sept. 5th when our Sec. John Berry, John Uhlenkoot-Cecil Pounder and myself picked it out. It was only a small gift compared to what Joe did for the STEAM FIENDS at Orofino on Sept. 2 & 3rd. We hope he enjoys it for years to come.
The rain held off till they were all done threshing then they ground some of the grain into flour and sold it. A young peoples club ran a stand and sold eats and drinks and they sold out. All in all it was a big success and now all we have to do is wait till next year.
Yours - Mitch