White River Valley Antique Club Sold on Antique Farm Equipment Demonstrations

The White River Valley Antique Club in Elnora, Ind., focuses on antique farm equipment and historic items

| December 2000

  • Readying the lineshaft at the machine shop/wood shop.
    Readying the lineshaft at the machine shop/wood shop. Club members spent more than three years acquiring machinery for the machine shop. The equipment there includes a drill press, lathe, shaper, milling machine and air compressor, all powered by a 10 hp Fairbanks-Morese gas engine.
  • Pressing sorghum
    Pressing sorghum. Club members also cook the juice into a thick syrup.
  • The Martin Oil Company at the White River show.
    The Martin Oil Company at the White River show. It was surrounded during show weekend by antique farm trucks.
  • A McCormick -Deering corn husker-shredder
    A McCormick -Deering corn husker-shredder dating from the early 1920s. Behind the McCormick-Deering: an all-wood Huber made in 1917.
  • The White River grist mill
    The White River grist mill, completed for the 2000 show season. The grist mill – modeled on those typical in the 1800s – has fast become a popular attraction at the showgrounds. A water tower on the club grounds provides a water supply for the water wheel.
  • Ellis Keystone Champion thresher
    This Ellis Keystone Champion thresher was powered by a three-horse treadmill at Elnora.
  • Cornmeal ground onsite is sold at the Elnora show
    Cornmeal ground onsite is sold at the Elnora show. The upper level of the grist mill also showcases a collection of flour and cornmeal sacks.
  • As the looks on these faces show, putting on a show is plenty of fun
    If it were just work, the volunteers would be harder to come by. But as the looks on these faces show, putting on a show is plenty of fun, too.
  • Flailing grain
    Flailing grain: The way grain was processed before mechanized threshing. First, using a flail, the grain was literally beaten from the straw. Then, as shown here using nothing more sophisticated than a shovel, the grain was winnowed to remove the chaff.
  • 1920
    A 1920 "Longfellow" Port Huron 24-75 making its debut at the Elnora show.

  • Readying the lineshaft at the machine shop/wood shop.
  • Pressing sorghum
  • The Martin Oil Company at the White River show.
  • A McCormick -Deering corn husker-shredder
  • The White River grist mill
  • Ellis Keystone Champion thresher
  • Cornmeal ground onsite is sold at the Elnora show
  • As the looks on these faces show, putting on a show is plenty of fun
  • Flailing grain
  • 1920

It's hard to tell who's having more fun at the White River Valley Antique and Machinery Show: visitors to the three-day event, or members of the club. Members of the club, after all, are actively engaged in the show's specialty: demonstrating vintage equipment.

To be sure, more than a few shows are bigger than this one, which is held at Elnora in southwestern Indiana. Some shows have more tractors; others have more engines. But if it's demonstrations you're after, it'd be hard to top Elnora.

"It's in our bylaws," says White River President Melvin Paulus. "It actually says in there that this group was formed for the preservation of historic items; that we're to use them to demonstrate; to teach young people about the past."

White River members have risen to that challenge with admirable enthusiasm.



Demonstrations at the site run the gamut from a three-horse treadmill powering a thresher, to corn shredding, to a full-scale machine shop, to making lye soap.

"It really is a unique show," Melvin says. "I really think that, as far as shows I've been to, we have as good a demonstration area as any around."