15700 Santini Road, Burtonsville, Maryland 20730
It is once again that I find joy in reporting another show at the Shenandoah Valley Steam and Gas Engine Show. Our weather, crowd and displays could not have been better; in fact in my 10 years of participation in the show I do not recall better of any of the three. Despite bad weather visiting some of the other shows before ours, including a total washout and flood at one, we had beautiful sunny weather with day time sunshine bringing 80 to low 90 degree temperatures and low humidity, no, not even any snow was reported. The crowds were the largest ever, which I think is a sign that our show is earning a better reputation and more popularity each year. We had a lot of additional equipment on display this year, although no new makes of steam traction engines were observed by me. The largest additions were in the gas tractor and engine section, along with some homemade steam traction engines and portables.
The flea market section was much larger this year, by far. Our gang, as anticipated lost most of its camping building to them, but not enough to cost us our sleep. Our village blacksmith was present and busy as usual, as was our small foundry busy making castings for use in restorations as well as for sale as souvenirs. A broom maker was also with us, along with many other such exhibits. Our membership and registration booths were busy as usual, with all of the help they could get being pressed into service. This was especially true at the admission gate, where those on duty did an admirable job despite being short on parking lot help this year. We hope to be able to help the crowded conditions on the display grounds another year by some adjustment in the exhibitor and truck parking, and some camping changes.
The large steam traction engine display this year consisted of Frick, Geiser, Case, Aultman-Taylor, Farquher, and Russell. I hope I have listed them all. In Frick and Geiser, we had both single and double cylinder versions. This does not count the many models, some made from portables and others from scratch.
Mr. Gowl provided the power for our small rock crusher with his small version of a Frick. Our Vice-president, Paul Giles powered the sawmill with his double cylinder Frick, with Frank Anderson as sawyer, as usual. Bill Sprouse used his Case on the thresher this year, while other engines took their turns at other chores. Joe Newton once again handled the shingle mill with his rare 10 hp. bevel gear Aultman-Taylor, while Ralph Lewin with his Z Z Geiser, along with all the rest took their turns and put on a show for one and all. Yes, from 10 to 30 hp. we had an engine for any job.
Our gas tractor display was very large with many types displayed, from 'Cookie' Cornett and his 4 wheel drive Massey Harris down to a one wheel garden tractor. Some of the others were Fordson, McCormick-Deering, Quincy, Waterloo Boy, John Deere, International, among many others. The total of makes of small gas engines are too numerous to attempt to list.
Mr. & Mrs. Schaefer were also present with their subscription, book, and novelty stand, doing business and meeting old friends as usual. We also had the steam calliope there Sunday afternoon. Our train ride for the Kids (from diapers to gray hair), the model display, handcraft and helicopter attractions were also quite popular.
I have left one of our most popular and new attractions until last to describe. This was our horse pull contest and exhibit, which followed our Saturday parade. Unfortunately this took place under circumstances so that I was unable to observe it and get pictures, much to my sorrow. Of the several thousand who saw it all of the comment I heard was the same. It was 100% 'If you are going to have that next year I will be here to see it.' Yes, if we possibly can, we will have it next year! This is our newest attraction and promises to be extremely popular. We were not able to get out sufficient publicity on this attraction, as we were not sure until about a week before show time. We hope for more advance notice and better publicity next year.
In addition to our regular show we have been trying to cooperate with farm and agriculture displays throughout the area. We have put on antique farm equipment displays for several this year. We even plan to sponsor a bowling team this year. We believe this helps attract people to our show by keeping our name known year round.
I know that I have left out many attractions and events, but I can not leave out a mention of the fine job done by Mr. Wayne God love, our President; Mr. Paul Giles, our vice-president; his daughter Linda, our secretary; and Mrs. Ralph Levin, our treasurer. I must also thank the members of the board, committeemen, and all of the workers. Thanks a lot, one and all.
We hope to see you next year, same time, same place, the Horse Show grounds, Rt. 7, one mile west of Berryville Va. The dates are the last full weekend in July, the 24th, 25th and 26th, 1976.