| September/October 1966

  • Keck-Gonnerman Engine
    Courtesy of Harold J. Gay, 633 Cleveland Street, Decatur, Indiana 46733 A Keck-Gonnerman owned by Wayne Drudge, Akron, Indiana.
    Harold J. Gay
  • Ponies
    Courtesy of Harold J. Gay, 633 Cleveland Street, Decatur, Indiana 46733 These ponies are owned by Clyde Ray, Ft. Wayne, Indiana, seen at 1965 Old Time Thresher Show. (Photo by Ernest Hoffer)
    Harold J. Gay

  • Keck-Gonnerman Engine
  • Ponies

633 Cleveland Street, Decatur, Indiana 46733

What is it about a steam thresher show that draws the crowds year after year after year? The smell of smoke? The steady purring of the grain seperator as the bundles are passing through, seperating the golden grain from the golden straw? The whine of the saw as it is passing through the log? These are but a few of the reasons. For some, the opportunity to see how things were done back in Dads' or Grandpas' day. For others, a day of relaxation and to get away from the hustle and hurry of a busy world and, for some, the joys of meeting old friends and the making of new ones.

What must be done so that we may live in the past for a few enjoyable hours? Days, weeks and several months of time are required for the four days that the 'Old Time Thresher Show' is held in the month of August each year. The grounds must be thoroughly cleaned and gone over after the winter season has passed. Repairs made from the damage caused by storms, winter blizzards and heavy spring rains. The grain has to be cut and shocked and then loaded on wagons and stored in the dry until show time. The exhibition grounds and parking areas have to be mowed and then raked. Logs have to be hauled in and in place ready for the saw mills. These are but a few of the thousand and one jobs that have to be done in order to get ready for the Big Days.

Two of the big jobs that were done before the 1965 show was the remodeling and enlargement of the sanitary rest rooms and the overhauling and adding to the grounds electrical system. More circuits, floodlights and convenience outlets were added. Quite a few extra outlets were necessary because of the number of people that now do their traveling in the popular camper mounted on a pick-up truck. In order to get all of the has to be work done before show time, a lot of thanks are due to the Jims, Franks, Johns, Macs, Jrs., Shays, Tommies, Irvins and a host of others.

The show grounds were kept fairly dust free thanks to the use of two sprinkling wagons. One of these has been in use on the grounds for several years. The other is a large tank mounted on a truck chassis with sprinkling attachments added by the members of the organization. The main drives throughout the grounds were paved with road stone which made them more solid in wet weather and more dust free in dry weather.

There was plenty of threshing for the visitor at the show as nine acres of wheat was cut, shocked and stored on wagons. Two large grain seperators and a smaller one were used and powered by the various steam engines and old time gas tractors on the grounds. Two saw mills on the grounds were kept busy. One mill permanently installed by our president, Jim Whitbey, and the other a portable mill owned by Dick Link of Starr City, Indiana. In addition to the two big mills, a small model mill was brought to the show by M.C. Lake and his brother of South Bend, Ind. So, in all, the visitor had plenty of saw mill activity.


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