The Steam Show At Antique Acres

16-60 Reeves double Engine

Courtesy of Andy Fischels, Vice-President of Antique Acres, 309 Linden Avenue, Waterloo, Iowa 50703. John Sunder Meyer of Readlyn, Iowa and his 16-60 Reeves double simple at Antique Acres.

Andy Fischels

Content Tools

309 Linden Avenue Waterloo, Iowa 50703

Antique Acres, located four and one half miles North of Cedar Falls, Iowa, on U.S. Highway 218, is a Corporation involving twenty-one (21) people owning various amounts of stock, and eighty (80) acres of land, buildings and most of the equipment. There are also many non-members that show with us.

Steam equipment at the show is owned by such people as Smolik Bros., Ed and Ray. They have a 40-140 Reeves plow engine with a 14 bottom

John Deere plow on the grounds. Also, they are exhibiting a Phoenix logging engine. At home in Osage, Iowa, they have a 110 HP Case Steamer, completely restored and a 120 HP Rumely side and center crank steamer still being restored.

They also have some antique cars of rare vintage, still to be restored.

John Sunder Meyer, has a 16-60 Reeves double simple steamer. Bill Ries of Long Beach, California, has a 80 HP Case, a real beauty. Shelby and Dean Ballinger show a 20 HP Minneapolis and 20 HP Rumely. C. J. Murphy of Council Bluff, Iowa, has a 20 HP Illinois. A 22-70 HP Avery under mounted steamer is owned by the Acres. Also a 60 HP Case steamer belonging to the Estate of the late Frank P. Schaefer.

We have thirteen grain threshers, the outstanding of these, a 36-58 Case with a Sattley swinging stacker, owned by Alfred Lindeman. A 32-56 Rumely with wing feeders is owned by Andy Fischels. A 30 inch Wood Brothers is owned by John Sunder Meyer.

We have 36 tractors of 20 different makes. Outstanding among these are a 1920, 60 Caterpillar and a 15-30 Townsend, like new. A 1916 Galloway like new, 50 gasoline engines of 22 different makes. All kinds of horse drawn machinery, some over a hundred years old, and of very rare vintage.

There are two saw mills on the grounds, both in operating condition. One 24 inch wood planer, a shingle saw, 2 Baker Fans and one (1) Prony Brake. We also have a two (2) cylinder double drum hoisting engine.

There are five (5) tank wagons, dray wagons, brush plows, potato planting and digging equipment. Also, there is a horse drawn cane mill and a horse drawn sweep mill for grinding feed and many other articles too numerous to mention.

The ground facilities of which I am enclosing an air view, consists of the following: a deep well with approved water supply all over the grounds, a utility building with rest rooms, hot and cold showers, and a large kitchen in the front of this modern building.

We have two 40 x 100 quansit storage buildings, also used for exhibit purposes, a blacksmith shop and maintenance building. Some of the equipment in this shop is over 100 years old.

Last year we added a souvenir stand where you can buy almost anything in the souvenir line including steam and gas tractor books, cook books and pastry books. Also, subscriptions to the various steam and gas magazines, steam engine jewelery, caps, tee shirts and many articles too numerous to mention.

It is our intention during this year to erect a large pole building for storage of threshers, hullers and other equipment and during the show, it will be used for exhibits.

We have beautiful lawns around the utility building and lots of shade trees. Facilities for campers are the best, with rest rooms and showers at their disposal.

You will see at the Acres, one of the finer shows going, with everything operating. There is threshing, saw milling, shingle sawing and souvenir shingles to take home. They also plane lumber, have Baker fans in operation and steamers and tractors taking the brake test. There is steam plowing twice a day by the Smolik Brother's 140 Reeves and 14 bottom plow, a large daily parade and large replica of the steam boat, 'Lady Gay', with lots of Calliope music and steam boat whistles, beautifully narrated. Also occasional music from the grandstand.

Here you will meet some of the finest people putting on the show. These people are interested enough to explain the equipment as it was used during the past century.

Last, but not least, there is good food - ice cream, snow cones, pop corn and all kinds of soft drinks during the show days.

It is our aim to keep our equipment operating as this is what you come to see.

At 6:00 A.M., you will see the Engineers cleaning flues, firing up and tuning up their engines. Around 8:00 A.M., after a good breakfast, the gas engine and tractor boys, come alive. They start a piece of equipment, then stand there and explain it to their audience, one after another. By 10:00 A.M., the Baker fans will be operating continually changing engines and tractors. At 11:00 A.M., a saw mill is running, sawing lumber to be used for more ground buildings in the future.

All this time there is Calliope music and what have you. At noon all whistles blow. Time for dinner - boy do you get hungury! The noon hour is primarily used for eating, visiting and preparation for afternoon activities. Also during this time, starts the big job of lining up the parade. Boy, what a job. If you don't think so ask Don Gibbons or Roy Harper or anyone else who might be helping do it. This parade lasts over an hour by the time the last piece goes by the grandstand.

As fast as the steamers are through the parade, they prepare for the afternoon activities. One setting the thresher, one at the saw mill, some to the fans, hooking on to the plow or any other thing they might be directed to do. Most gas engines and a lot of tractors are in operation. Some are pulling equipment, others giving rides or any demonstration you might ask for.

During these shows, we thresh between 25 and 40 acres of grain, saw 10,000 to 15,000 feet of lumber and endless numbers of shingles. The fans and Prony brake really are interesting. This is especially true when some of the old tractors don't quite come up to what they bragged about.

Threshing also draws large crowds. Some volunteer to pitch one more time; some never have and want to try it. The separator man gets a big kick out of people climbing on the grain wagon and picking up the grain feeling it for weight and smelling of it, and what not. Some climb on the engine or separator and tell how they did in their day. Then there are the boys that are not afraid of work. They help roll logs on to the sawmill, some carry off lumber, others saw slabs, and most, just plain watch. Boy, do we have fun!

I would like to give recognition to some of the people that really make the show go. There is Mr. Harold Smith, the guy that handles the address system, busiest man on the grounds. He knows most of the machines by heart.

Then there is Mr. Fred Golinvaux, with the steam boat 'Lady Gay'. What a sportsman, and he dresses the part - stiff Katy and all. The steam boat-you must see it to believe it. This boat was built lock stock and barrel by Mr. Golinvaux himself. It is a meticulous copy of the original 'Lady Gay' and V-shaped paddle wheel and all. It has a link motion valve gear, pilot house and all calliope music and steam boat whistle - the finest. Mr. Golinvaux is a versatile conversationalist - just try him! He is just about a walking library and he loves people.

Then, there is Nelson Lord and Marlin Hillhouse from Iowa Falls, Iowa; Mr. Fred Lebacken from St. Cloud, Minnesota; Art Heuser from Sully, Iowa; Lorenz Warneka of Hudson, Iowa; Arnie Slinde, Lyle, Minnesota; Ray Fischels, Salem, New Jersey; Mr. and Mrs. Kruger and family of Columbia, Missouri and Omer Conrad, separator man of Waterloo, Iowa and a number of others that volunteer their services just because they like it. These are people you just have to have and I don't know just how to thank them.

During the past year, we split our show into two week ends. This year the tentative dates are: August 2-3, August 9-10, August 30-31 and September 1st.

Also during the tourist season, beginning this year, we will be open as a Museum for a small fee per person. Every one is always welcome to come and see us, buy some souvenirs and take pictures. There is always someone around and you might get a ride on a tractor or steamer or see some other interesting activity and we are always ready to visit and explain any equipment.