Montezuma, Kansas 67807
'I hope that it will be a nice, hot day'
This remark, unusual in the air-conditioned age in which we live, could recently be heard on every hand. Three years ago, Haviland, Kansas, decided to dedicate three days each summer to the preservation and enjoyment of pioneer days, equipment and customs. The Southwest Kansas Antique Engine and Thresher Association planned a program that proved to be an unqualified success. Old time farm equipment, old cars and antiques formed a parade. Old timers were taken back many a year by the acrid smoke, the belching flues, and even an old time calliope.
The next summer an even more elaborate program was undertaken, which drew visitors and displays from a much larger area. A large tent was erected, and old dishes, household wares, utensile, and small tools were exhibited. The visitors, many of them in the senior citizen bracket, rested on the benches and exchanged memories and stories.
The show in 1967 was by far the largest and most spectacular. Several old steam engines huffed and puffed out the three days of their display-One, a Star engine, manufactured by the Stillwater Co., was very unusual, said to be one of only two yet in existence. It had a return flue, and was one of the easiest steam engines to fire. The smoke stack is located at the back.
Several early gas engines were also shown, and took their places with the sputtering and popping of amateurs. One old truck, old agricultural tools, all sorts of equipment of a not so long ago, were examined by interested visitors, most of whom had used similar ones. One of the most interesting spots was filled by an old organ which was foot pumped and played by its owner, Mrs. Fast, of Haviland.
After the parade, and a huge dinner, contests were held. One, a slow race was won by the steam engine that go the slowest without the engine dying. This was won by the undermounted Avery, able to barely creep with its two cylinders. Then the engines competed for the fastest time it took to line up and belt a separator. This was won by a gas tractor.
Two small Cases, built meticulously to scale, ran like well oiled sewing machines. They had a tug of war with laughing, screaming children. The first day the small steamer pulled the children all around. But the second day the children ganged up on the small smoker and managed to break the rope. Wood was sawed by the large engines as well the the two tinies. The small engines drew lots of attention, one built by E. A. Jacobs of Smith Center, was only one of numerous models he had constructed. The other, from Kansington, Kansas, was a one time thing, the builder said he would not again attempt to build another.