219 Lincoln Street Steelton, Pennsylvania
As we approached the town of Bangor, we realized how different the terrain was. My sister, Esther Sorg, and I were driving behind Bob Brandt's low boy truck. Mounted on the trailer was my Father's 1928 Peerless steam traction engine on its way to the Blue Mountain Antique Gas and Steam Engine Association. As we climbed the hills, each one steeper than the last, we noticed the expressions on the faces of the people we passed. They were interested, amazed, and impressed. I guess they would be, this being the first time a 50 hp steam engine, all fired up, blowing steam, puffing smoke, and blowing her whistle ever crossed their path before.
Halfway to Bangor, Bob pulled off the road so we could build a fire in the engine. This would enable us to have enough steam to drive her off the low boy when we arrived at the show. The date was July of 73, which was the second year for the show.
Since then the show, which is held at the Jacktown Community Center near Bangor, has grown from a few exhibitors to 38 gas engine exhibitors, antique displays, corn husking, and much more.
In 1974 the show as held on July 19, 20 and 21.
Friday was a day filled with preparations and getting organized. Many exhibitors had to be registered and given numbers. Ralph Schlough, who has been involved with the show ever since it was formed, was always around to give suggestions and a helping hand. Betty, his wife, could be found at the flea market stand selling items of use for very reasonable prices.
There was threshing twice a day. Unlike larger shows, where a steam traction engine supplies the power for threshing, a stationary gas engine was used. The thresher, made by the Messinger Manufacturing Co., was owned by B. Schlough. Other activities included corn grinding, corn husking, water pump displays, and many other exhibitions including a model of a steam engine which was made on a 2-inch scale as you can see in this picture. The model was made and owned by William Rader.
There were also gas tractors to be seen. Some had motors of 350 hp, and one tractor in particular was put together by Paul Seachrist. He calls it his very own concoction.
On Sunday there was an antique car show and prizes were given for various classifications.
There was also a tractor pull I should say a tractor-steam engine pull. A 350 hp Farmall tractor was challenged against our 50 hp Peerless steam engine. A person would think that the 350 hp would definitely win. After some cheering on by the crowd, a couple of deep holes in the ground made from the spinning of the tractor's wheels, and one broken axle on the Farmall tractor, a winner was declared. We forgot to mention that Ole Puff weighed ten tons. Well, no wonder the tractor couldn't budge us. Esther, our Engineer, felt very bad about breaking the axle on the tractor, but the owner was a very good sport and he assured us that the axle could be repaired.
Everyone at the show is cooperative and friendly. An example of how great the people are is as follows:
Is a 2-inch scale steam engine owned by William Rader. These were taken at The Blue Mountain Antique Gas And Steam Engine Association Show in July of 1974.
The first year we participated, there wasn't much ground for a steam engine to ramble over. This was because, I suspect, no one at the association realized how much room a steam engine needed.
When we came back to the grounds for the second day of the show, we discovered that the men had worked very hard clearing trees, gathering old fallen debris and smoothing the ground through the woods making a road, our own private driveway, for Ole Puff. We were very impressed.
In the evenings when the sun went down and the coolness and silence of the Pocono Mountains began to surround us, the night would be disturbed, in a most delightful way, by the strumming of guitars and the stomping of feet. A small band would play country-western music while children and adults clapped to the music. In the background, numbers were being called out for the anxious players in the bingo games. And the cake walks! Not one cake, not five cakes, but at least fifteen cakes were being chanced upon. After the cakes were distributed, there was watermelon, dozens of eggs, certificates for home made ice cream, and a few other articles to be won by the lucky participants who paid their dime.
The name of the Association is Blue Mountain Antique Gas and Steam Engineer Association, so it must have at least one steam engine exhibitor and it did. We were the only clean-up 'men', the oil and grease drew, to build a fire and try and keep it going 'couple' on board Ole Puff, the only 1928 50hp Peerless steam engine for miles around. Dad, Mervin B. Grubb, is the owner, head mechanic, and decision maker where Ole Puff is concerned. And when Daddy decided that we would make Bangor our first show of each year, my sister and I were very happy.
All during the three days we were in operation, we offered free rides to anyone who desired them. All they had to do was sit still on the hay wagon that we pulled behind us.
We were sorry to have the time pass so rapidly, but then doesn't it always when one is having a good time? Although shows require a lot of hard work, this effort is always equaled or bettered by the enjoyment we have.
I am sure that the president of the show, Paul Brodt, would like to see more exhibitors, members, and visitors come to Bangor and take part in the Association. Please do.
We have been talking to Ralph and he has informed us that the dates for this years get-together will be June 27, 28, and 29 at the same location Jacktown Community Center. There will be more threshing and some new additions. So come if you can. And don't forget to say hello to Esther Sorg and Doris Grubb, first and second engineers on Ole Puff.