Randy Schweren's 22 HP Wood Brothers and Dave Fuls' 16 HP Reeves preparing to thresh.
1515 Longfellow Waterloo, Iowa 50703
Well, as sad as it may seem, the 1985 steam season is rapidly coming to an end. I hope everyone got to visit their favorite shows and renew the old acquaintances, in addition to making many new ones.
The Antique Acres show was held the 22, 23, 24, and 25th of August. This year marked the 21st year the old time power show has been held in Cedar Falls. Yet the show seems to improve each year with new ideas, exhibits, and exhibitors.
The show traditionally starts on Thursday, but thanks to some heavy rains in the morning the first day was all but rained out! Like many other shows Thursday is regarded as a setup day so not much was lost. If nothing else, it gave the engineers a chance to 'chew the fat.'
A distinct advantage we have at the Acres is sandy soil. So, when Friday rolled around the grounds were in good shape. All the engines were fired up and ready to go and I decided to put my dad's 1919 20 HP Advance Rumely on the saw mill. We had so many logs this year that we sawed from morning until 7:00 in the evening. I'm happy to say the old Rumely didn't mind the long days and performed real well! The Fischels used their 18 HP Wood Brothers to power their Wood Brothers 'Hummingbird' separator. Both of these machines were built in Des Moines making this a complete Iowa rig. This is a very fine running engine. Also threshing was Dave Fuls' 16 HP Reeves. Dave is an excellent machinist and this has to be the smoothest, quietest running engine I have ever seen. Dave also has a Wood Bros, threshing machine. It looks real nice seeing the two machines going at once.
After lunch each afternoon everyone headed out towards the stubble fields for the plowing demonstration. The Smolik Brothers' 40-140 Reeves and 110 Case took turns breaking earth with the 12 x 12' plows. The Reeves handles the plow like it wasn't even there. Randy Schwerin, Ray Smolik, and Graham Sellers do a fine job of showing off the power of this huge engine. The Case also handles the plow very well. Jack Fritcher and Floyd Scholtes seem to have a lot of fun with the old girl. But, it seems as though old Floyd likes playing with the locomotive whistle more than anything! Can't say as I blame him as it puts out a lovely sound.
Rich Stavely again came up with a couple new horse drawn items this year. He had just purchased a World War I ammunition cast he pulled with two of his big Belgian horses. Then out to the field with nine horses hitched to a four bottom plow. This provided the horses with a pretty good workout.
Saturday morning as we were firing up we were greeted by a busload of steam friends: John Schrock, Harry Wood mansee, Ron Pieper, Mike Althoff, and Jim Hast came to take in our show. I sure did enjoy listening to these fellows tell their many stories. They were very interesting and many were very funny. I hope they decide to make it an annual trip to Cedar Falls.
Just after breakfast Charles Robinson put the Smolik's 1921, 22 HP Advance Rumely on the old Crabb mill. It is nice to listen to this engine put out such a pretty sound. I believe a Rumely under a load puts out the best sound in the world!
The Schweren's 22 HP Wood Brothers took its turn on the mill after lunch and performed real good.
Randy, Sharon, and Ed Schweren did a great job of restoring this engine. This was the first year for this engine at our show and everyone enjoyed it immensely. Bob Buck did a fine job of engineering this engine through some pretty large logs.
The Fischels again threshed a few loads of bundles on Saturday and Sunday. Dean Bellinger used his Rumely to thresh a couple loads also, on Saturday.
At 3:30 each afternoon a large parade took place. Don Gibbons directed the parade again this year like he has done for so many. Don is one of the charter members of our club and a real joy to be around. The parade started each day with the horse drawn items, followed by the Pittman's scale model of a 65 Case with matching thresher. Then follows the rest of the engines. The crowd always enjoys when Ed Smolik brings his Phoenix log hauler through the parade. When Ed opens the throttle up this engine will throw smoke 50 feet into the air and reach a speed of 12 m.p.h.
Stuart Fenton usually came puffing along after the steamers with his many oil pulls. Stuart is always tinkering with his beloved Rumelys, his favorite being his Model E 30-60. Stuart also is a charter member of the club and owner of the saw mill.
Next came the tractors, which were too many to try to name. A great many of them were owned by Derwood Heine (Farmall), Harold Pries (Minneapolis-Moline), and Dean Brandt (John Deere). These men also put a lot of effort into organizing the antique tractor pulls held on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Ferman Rautinghaus and William Bellows continue their practice of seeing how many times they can get through the parade in one day.
Saturday night the members and exhibitors had a cookout and steamed sweet corn with the Bellinger's Rumely. Afterwards Dean Bellinger, Graham Sellers, and David Headley put on a spark show. The two Rumelys were belted to the Baker fans and really put on a show. Inside the museum we were treated to some well played old time music. Everyone had a real good time. If only I knew how to polka!
Sunday came and it was another beautiful day. The grounds seemed to be buzzing with activity. Roland Braussy was sawing shingles, using an old Case as power. John Ruth had his 100 plus gas engines popping away, and judging by the parking lot, there was another bumper crop of spectators.
Down in the northeast corner of the grounds was the feature tractor display. This was a first at the Acres and it was very successful. This year's feature tractor was the John Deere. There were many rare and nicely restored tractors shown. The rarest was probably the Overtime tractor. This tractor is really a Waterloo Boy with the different name and painted a darker green. The company didn't think the name Waterloo Boy would sell overseas, so they made the changes before shipping their tractors to other countries.
The museum always seemed to be filled with people. There are many toys, household items, and other antiques permanently housed in the museum. There also are two large Corliss engines that are run by Rick Witt. These engines were donated to the club and run every day of the show. The front of the museum was decorated with two cast iron Case eagles owned by the Smoliks. Pete Fritcher and Sharon Schweren did an excellent job of restoring these for Ray and Ed.
On Sunday before the parade it is traditional that we honor the members that parted our company the previous year. This year we remembered Cliff Johnston, Mrs. Dean Vaupel, Minnie Sundermeyer, and Mrs. Percy Lowe. These four members were great attributes to our show and will be greatly missed.
Well, that about closes my report. I would like to thank everyone who helped make the show a success. Next year should be even better we'll have a couple more steam engines and the feature tractor will be the Farmall. So we hope to see you the 28th, 29th, 30th, and 31st of August in 1986.