President, Rt. 1, Lawrenceburg, Kentucky 40342
The Seventh Annual Bluegrass Steam and Gas Engine Association of Harrodsburg, Kentucky held its show at the Mercer County Fairgrounds on August 20, 21, 22, 1976. Total attendance for the show was son 2000. All came to see the finest restored gas and steam engines were found anywhere. 31 flea were open for selling Some 240 gas engines were on display along with 6 antique gas tractors, 3 steam engines and 22 antique cars. Some featured items to be seen were a gas powered washing machine, gas powered cutoff saw, 5 water pumps, a rock crusher, 4 grist mills, model water powered grist mill, lionel model electric train display and 1 stationary steam engine. There was a Case steam engine belonging to Mr. Dick Gibson, and Mr. Forrest Cunningham both of Harrodsburg, Kentucky. The Frick steam engine belonged to Mr. Buddy Shewmaker of Mackville, Kentucky. The working model of a Case steam engine belonged to Mr. Jim Rice of Louisville, Kentucky and he also had a working saw mill powered by his little engine. The stationary engine Was the work of Mr. Angereau McConnell of Danville, Kentucky. Along with the threshing machine for the steam engines to run was the big Baker fan. Wheat for the steam engines was furnished by Mr. Buddy Shewmaker of Mackville, Kentucky. Some of the talents in restoring tractors were seen in a 1911 Aultman Taylor, 1930 Model C Case, 1939 Model C Case, and a Fordson. The 1939 Farmall F-20 stone mills were all in working order and grinding meal to the finest quality.
At 7:30 p.m. on Friday evening the light weight division for the Kentucky grand championship horse pulling got under way. Eight teams entered the event and a fine crowd was on hand to see it.
Our old friends from the Kitch Greenhouses steam calliope got up steam early Saturday morning to play songs, old and new. Gas engines, large and small, began to arrive early Saturday morning with the largest being a big 40 HP Superior oil field gas engine. This big engine belongs to Mr. Kenny Booher of Burksville, Kentucky and was built in 1936 and Mr. Booher has mounted it on a truck trailer with a big diamond T diesel tractor to pull it. This being the largest, the smallest were two half HP New Holland engines belonging to Mr. Billy Joe Broaddus of Lancaster, Kentucky. Some of the names of engines shown at our show were Associated, Fairbanks Morse, Leroi, Maytag, Novo, New Way, Jeager, Hercules, Economy, John Deere, Monarch, Hagan, International, Witte, McCormick Deering, Gilson, United, and Bohon.
The most unique display was the overshot water wheel stone mill built in 1811 at Renfro Valley, Kentucky. Mr. Ralph Marcum of Sand Gap, Kentucky reproduced this mill on a small trailer. The display was complete with water running over the big wheel. The source of power was a one and one half HP Economy engine.
Another unusual display was the complete Lionel electric train set-up of Mr. Lafon Darland of Mercer County. The newest piece in his train yard was bought in 1955. The display had a complete main line road and complete switch yard. There were complete freight trains, passenger trains, steam locomotives, switch engines and all the other pieces that make up a train yard. The scale was 0 gauge.
Mr. Esco Beasly of Salvisa, Kentucky, and he being 80 years young, brought his complete hand made blacksmith shop for all to see.
By the time the noon whistle had blown, the members of the Salvisa Ruritan Club had cooked up a big pot of bean soup with corn bread and iced tea. The afternoon brought out many spectators to see all the displays and events taking place.
From the University of Kentucky Forestry Club, came a group of three men and two girls to demonstrate the art of sawing wood with the old crosscut two man saw. The two girls showed the men that they could handle the saw as well as the men. After several demonstrations, the two men challenged anyone with a chain saw. A member of our club, Mr. Wayne Doolin of Lancaster, Kentucky, had his chain saw in his truck and he took them on. It took 13 seconds to cut the log in two. This was the total time. Believe it or not the two man crosscut saw beat the chain saw by two seconds. It took eleven seconds for the crosscut saw to go thru the log and 13 seconds for the chain saw to go thru the log. If I had not seen it with my own eyes I wouldn't have believed it.
Around 5:00 p.m. Mr. Jim Schoo of Versailles, Kentucky brought over his big hot air balloon. Mr. Schoo told everyone the general information about the balloon. The balloon when inflated stands ten stories high. The balloon was inflated on the show grounds and yours truly took his first flight. I won't forget that for a long time.
At 7:30 p.m. on Saturday night the heavy weight division of the Kentucky grand championship horse pulling took place. Eight teams were entered in this event which drew a very large crowd. On Sunday morning at 9:00 our church services began. The steam calliope put us in the mood by playing hymns of the church. Rev. Leroy Tracy conducted the service which drew quite a large number. Rev. Tracy is my father. Uncle Bruce Champion of Salvisa, Kentucky led the singing. The service was closed with the National Anthem and my Old Kentucky Home.
The activities of the day began. We had a fine display of antique cars for everyone to see. There were Model A Fords, Model T's, Packards, a Kissel, a 1922 Chandler, Chevy's; just to name a few.
Mr. David Craycraft of Winchester, Kentucky had his rock crusher in full working order crushing rocks and his Maytag washing machine running too.
All three days were blessed with beautiful fair weather. Seeing old friends again and making new friends were the order of the day.
This is my first year as president, our new vice president is Mr. Harold Rowlett of Berea, Kentucky. His wife, Jeanette, is our new secretary and treasurer. Mr. Joe Richards of Somerset, Kentucky, is our new chairman of the board and his wife, Betty, is our assistant secretary and treasurer. We all are looking forward to 1977 with great hopes for a bigger and better show.