R.R. 2, Arcola, Illinois 61910
'I've been to better shows, but I can't remember when,' was the comment of an old veteran thresher-man as he watched the big 28-80 HP Case, 25-85 Nichols & Shepard and 30-60 Aultman Taylor rip open the black virgin prairie with a 5-16' plow. 'Yes, wouldn't the late Justin Hintgtgen be in his glory today if he could be here with us to watch the big Nichols and Shepard and Case engine, (both formerly owned by Justin) perform so majectically on the belt as well as on the plow,' was the comment from another spectator from the bordering state of Iowa.
This show takes me back to the shows of the early 50s when action was the key word, was the comment of another spectator. To the many men and women who exhibit and help put on the Douglas County Historical Steam and Gas Show these comments were music to their ears for they were outward signs of appreciation for the many long, hard hours they had worked to make the show such a success. As anyone knows, a show is only as good as the men and women who put it on, and down at Arcola, Illinois, the show is blessed with such people. Many events such as corn shelling with steam, plowing with steam and gas, sawing, threshing, gas engine displays, antique farm machinery display, Baker fans, tractor teeter totter, just to name a few, were constantly going on during the three-day show.
In the recently restored barn, arts and crafts and an antique show were being held offering choice items for sale as all items for sale are quality controlled so that the buyer may benefit. The stately Jacob R. Moore home, built in 1873, opened its doors to the many hundreds of spectators for an educational venture into the mid-Victorian past. One thing that surprised the many women who were explaining the history of the home upon request, was that of the hundreds that toured the home, the men enjoyed it as well as the women and children. The home is furnished with rare 1810 to 1876 period furnishings which provides the young and old a chance to hear and see how prominent pioneers of the Midwest Prairie such as Jacob R. Moore chose to live and build in the once swamp lands that turned into the richest producing soil that this country has ever known.
Paul Alsip of Ogden, Illinois operates the big 28-80 Case on the plow while Herman Nunnally of Lebanon, Indiana keeps a steady hand on the wheel and a close eye on the fresh furrow.
Pouring rain on Sunday didn't hamper the spirits of the spectators as events were continued when possible and the Jacob R. Moore home, barn and new steel building provided ample coziness and shelter during the rain showers. No sooner had the gates to the grounds closed on the last day of the show, when plans were started for the next upcoming summer show. New rare pieces of antique farm machinery and Victorian furnishings will be ready for viewing and pleasure.