Third Annual Catoctin Antique Gas Engine Show


Blacksmith, Lou Gillinger, Martinsburg, West Virginia is being assisted by Stanley Schroyer and Arthur Leatherman, Myersville, Maryland as he is making items requested by the spectators at the Third Annual Catoctin Antique Gas Engine Show. Courtesy of J.

J. Nelson Langdon

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Myersville, Md. 21773

The Wolfsville Ruritan Club held its first show in 1973 with 31 exhibitors displaying 101 engines. Last year 68 faithfuls showed 208 engines. This year, the growth was phenomenal. There were 137 exhibitors displaying 320 engines. Wow!!!!

Why the great growth and enthusiasm? You may ask, was it the weather? Yes, the weather was perfect. Nice, warm, sunny Indian summer weather with the multicolored leaves falling from the massive oak trees that lined the park. Fall frost laying on the grass in the early morning that evaporated into an early morning haze as the exhibitors wiped off the engines and prepared to ready them for the days running.

Was it the enthusiasm of the exhibitors? Yes it was this factor also. Long before daylight, those die-hards that camped on the grounds got up for breakfast at 6:00 a.m. and began swapping trade secrets (as well as lies). These men, and in some cases the entire families, slept in campers, tents, and even merely in sleeping bags under the stars. All were up early waiting for breakfast to be served so that they could get on with the job at hand. You could not hear the starter bark, 'Gentlemen, start your engines', because that was not necessary. Soon this would be in evidence.

As the weekend began on Friday, many exhibitors brought their engines in preparation for a rewarding weekend. Bob Meldron, Ellicott City, Md., was the first to arrive. He was unloaded and staked in. This was the beginning of another show where the slogan, 'Caution, adults at play' would be in practice.

It seemed that the enthusiasm of new exhibitors, who did not own an engine at the time of our first show, was in evidence.

There were so many of these persons that to list them all would be immaterial as they all thoroughly enjoyed the weekend.

Not only did the men take pride in talking to those who chose to come but the younger sons took a much more active role this year. It seemed that Elmer Rice's son, Andy, was trying to wear out the Fairbanks roller. He rode it so much that he had paths all over the display area. Not to be outdone, Tod Gouker had an antique garden tractor that seemed to follow these previously laid out trails. Horace Sprout, Rising Sun, Md., should be ashamed of himself. It seemed that he kept trying to sell the finely restored engine that a lad, whose name cannot be picked up from the exhibitors list, had on display at our show. The enthusiasm of this lad was evidenced as he had many Cuttons on his cap from other shows that he had attended. Allan Shows that he had attended. Allankink, Fisher Hill, W. Va. had four maytag motors that his father helped him display.