There is a “Threshers Reunion” as they call it, just outside of Charles City, Iowa, still going strong after 52 years. The Cedar Valley Engine Club has an annual show that is held each year over the Labor Day weekend. The 2017 show was blessed with great weather for all three days of the festivities on the show grounds. There was a strong representation of “RED” farm equipment around the grounds for the IHC feature. They hosted the Iowa Chapter 5 IHC Collectors for their summer show. And the IHC Collectors came out with a great gathering of items for all to enjoy.
Some early items, like 10-20 Mogul and 10-20 Titan tractors were seen moving about the grounds. Moving through the age brackets of time was evident by seeing some very nice “F” series tractors next to powerful tractors from the 1970s. The “06” series was the target of the IHC collectors. There were some showroom-quality restorations on the grounds as well as some straight from the field units. What is viewed as show quality is truly up to the individual. True “OE” type of restorations next to “Farmer Fixes” is a great lineup to compare one to another. Sometimes the farmer had to make alterations to make the unit more “user friendly” for the help they had around the farm.
The IHC tractors weren’t the only items in the Feature Area. There were some “binder” trucks that had proven the point that farm equipment companies could adapt to the needs of the many. From a regular pickup to a local area fire/rescue truck are just a couple shown. The lawn and garden crew wasn’t going to be outdone. The Cub Cadet crowd brought the invaluable little powerhouses out in a great array of variations and equipped models.
The feature building was home to the local chapter’s booth and also some great “smalls” in the IHC line. Literature, sales spiffs, household items, pedal crawler, and even some very nice horse drawn items were on full display in and around the building. The gas engine representation was even very good. I think there were 35-6 IHC engines in all around the grounds. There were three 10 hp “M’s” thumping away in their melodic rhythm. Many “Famous” engines were represented with both hopper-cooled and tank-cooled versions shown. One “L” showed it face as well as many 1-1/2 hp “M’s” and a few “LB’s” for good measure.
The CVEC team seems to be able to put forth a great show for all ages to enjoy. There were people there from all around the state of Iowa. Even the surrounding states were well represented from not only spectators but also exhibitors. Heck, even a few countries have been represented in the past from the spectators. The non-feature exhibits are as varied as the spectators. The barn housed many artifacts from the past as well as the stage for some “Barn Talks” of interest for those who attended.
Not to be outdone was the Roseville General Store that sits beside the barn. This building was brought in from it original location from just three miles away (Roseville, Iowa) and is exhibited/ran by the family members that originally owned the store. Truly a great show piece in its own right. Even the original upstairs housing quarters have been restored for all to enjoy and learn the history of the local general store. Just don’t expect to pull up to the vintage gas pump expecting to “fill up.”
To leave out the two stationary steam engines on the grounds would be tragic. Housed in on of the building on the grounds are two stationary steam engines that truly show the evolution of industrial power. The running engine is a steam powered air compressor that came from the Allis-Chalmers plant in Indiana. This particular engine was the main source of compressed air for the entire manufacturing plant that dated back the OilPull tractor lines. The other steam engine is a James Watt rotative crankshaft engine built in the late 1700s. That engine was pulled out of the textile mill in the 1950s and then moved again after the turn of the century to be placed at this show grounds. What a true gem these two engines are to be in the same building.
The show has the regular power show activities going on, but also has a charm of a small town. 2018 will mark the opportunity for the local history to be front and center in the feature area. The CVEC will be hosting the Iowa Cornbelt Oliver Collectors for their state summer show and Hart-Parr & Oliver will be the main feature farm power makes. Charles City is only 7 miles away from the show grounds and was home of the tractor plant for almost a century. And 2018 marks the 100th anniversary for the lightweight Hart-Parr tractors and the 70th anniversary for the “Fleetline” series of tractors. The engine feature will be Fuller & Johnson for those collectors. So if you get a chance to make it to the northeast Iowa are around the Labor Day weekend timeframe. You are sure to find the welcome mat rolled out to you if you stop by.