| January/February 1990

Sent to us by L. Martyn 1375 11th Ave. Edgar, Wisconsin 54426

Edgar, Wisconsin is a small town with a population of about 1500. During the last weekend of August each year, at least three times the population of the town converges on the farm belonging to Kurt Umnus, Jr. What causes this vast migration is a show which has been presented for the last 16 years by members of the North Central Steam and Gas Engine Club of Edgar. By Sunday noon, all 4500 souvenir buttons had been sold. Some of the ladies still selling tickets at the entrance didn't get a chance to stop for lunch because of the line of cars filled with people wanting to get in to see all there was to see. There were acres of land set aside for parking so there was room to spare for all who wanted to attend.

Being a native of New York City, and relatively new to country life, all that the show had to offer was pretty new and different to me. What a lot there was to see.

We went over to the grounds at dusk on Friday night before the show officially started. There was a local polk a band playing for the entertainment of the exhibitors and flea marketeers who had arrived earlier in the day to get set up and ready for the weekend. Many of the folks there were swapping stories of their latest acquisitions and catching up on what had happened since they had seen each other.

Outside, there was some last minute painting of equipment. One fellow was painting up a rather rusty piece with some pretty green enamel. It seems that until a few weeks ago the plow had been up to its axles in mud and had been rescued from oblivion in the nick of time to come to the show, and thus the last minute paint job. It reminded me of the scene in 'Alice in Wonderland' where the card men frantically put red paint on the white roses to please the Red Queen.

Featured both Saturday and Sunday was a 1 o'clock parade of vehicles. Participants ranged in size from the 80 HP Case owned by George Sommers to mini replicas of a Case steamer and a thresher presented by Rick Stencil, Edgar. There were a good dozen of the crowd pleasing giants, Advance Rumely, Case, Minneapolis. Also appearing was a goodly selection of smaller, newer tractors, Ford, John Deere, Avery, Huber, Rumely Oil Pull. There were crawlers, homemade cars and wagons. Representing an even earlier day of farming technology were wagons pulled by giant horses and one HP cart pulled by a pony. There was a trained dog in one of the wagons--the driver honked 'shave and a haircut' on a horn and the dog barked the 'two bits.' That got a laugh from the crowd every time. Another crowd pleaser was the contraption made from an old garden tractor which had been ingeniously modified into an aluminum can-crusher.


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