Blaker’s Labor Day

Alvordton, Ohio

‘LABOR DAY IS FOR Laboring’ would seem to be my
husband’s philosophy, since for years now he has been getting
up even earlier on that Monday than on others, to get fires started
in all three of his steam engines, and to see that everything is in
readiness for the day’s activities. Just how this custom was
started we don’t seem to remember, but probably it began when
Louis David, Earnest Hoffer and Gil Cow-den would come to the farm
on that day to put away for the winter the engines which they
exhibited at the NTA Reunion the previous June. The men have always
said they enjoyed that day almost more than the Reunions, since
they could have fun with their engines without feeling an
obligation to ‘put on a show.’

For several years we have had pot-luck dinners and suppers, and
the women have taken this opportunity not only to visit but to
discuss and plan TNT activities and projects. While we have never
issued invitations, it has been generally known that everyone was
welcome, and each year has seen about 75 persons of all ages
gathering at the Blaker farm. This year the yard was filled with
cars from Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan, somewhat as in the days when
the NTA Reunions were held here. But the red Studebaker pick-up and
its owner, Louie David, were sadly missed this year, so the two big
Avery engines stayed in their stalls, cold and empty. Earnest
Hoffer’s 14 hp. Buffalo-Pitts, LeRoy’s 24-75 Port Huron and
65 Case were put on the Baker fan, and the 24-75 Port Huron in the
saw mill was also steamed up and some sawing was done. Dinner and
supper were served in the new machine shed, since it was a windy
and not-too-warm day.

Both NTA and TNT business sessions were held, and it was decided
to hold the pre-Reunion meeting the Sunday before Memorial Day at
the Blaker farm, when it is planned to dedicate the marker which
Merle Newkirk has proposed to give to the NTA to designate this
farm as the site of the first steam engine thresher Reunion in the
United States.

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