15700 Santini Road, Burtonsville, Maryland 20730
Every year a large and well attended Apple Harvest Festival is held in Adams County Pa., noted for its apple orchards. It is held in Arendtsville, just a few miles north of Gettysburg. The group which sponsors this festival at first requested four steam engines, but after we checked to see what we had in the way of really good looking ones after a long and hard summer of shows; three engines and a large gas tractor were agreed upon. Also, some of our engineers were becoming a little 'shop worn' after a hectic summer, and we had lost one of our best, Joe Newton, due to school having begun. The beautiful cross motor Case was provided by Mr. Paul and John Sneeringer of New Oxford. The steam engines and engineers were drafted once again from the 'Swift Run Steamers' gang. This is a partially confused gang from everywhere who own anything, if we can remember where we left it last. The part that is not confused is just disorganized.
We managed to show up with Mr. Grant Laughman's Geiser 'S', from New Oxford, Penna.; Mr. Earl Rohrer's Russell, from Hagerstown; and Mr. Tom Ackerman's 20 hp. Aultman-Taylor, which is stored at New Oxford, although he lives in Waretown, N.J. Mr. Sam Osbourne, of New Oxford was sort of the 'Straw Boss' as we say, of the whole crew, and some of the assistant engineers were as follows: Mr. Wayne Boerum, Silver Spring, Md., Mr. Ray Rohrer, Hagerstown, Md., and myself Bill Hall, Burtonsville, Md. There were also many more assistants to help us. The Geiser was fired up and served more as a stationary display, due to the large crowd and not enough room for all engines to be moving around. The A&T was run as much as the crowd size would allow, with the Rohrers doing the honors, pulling the kiddie ride wagon. It is amazing and encouraging to see the large number of 'Over grown kids' with gray hair who enjoy the memory of a ride as well as the little tykes.
I do not have any idea as to the number of antique cars displayed each day, but I am sure the number Sunday alone, was 100 or more. The festival was scheduled for four days, October 10-13, 1974, but of course, the Saturday and Sunday were the main days.
We also had an old time blacksmith shop, usually run by Mr. Fred Starner, New Oxford, Pa., and quite a few antique gas engines pulling an old cider press, grain mills, corn shellers, etc. We had a very good time despite the handicap of lack of maneuvering space, and a shortage of fuel, both for the engines and engineers. The first was caused by a miscalculation of the engines appetites, and the second by the appetite of the large crowd, who got in line before we did. However, we were treated with courtesy and respect by one and all, the Adams County JayCee's and the tractor trailor crews.