Blowing Rock, N.C. 28605
The Second Annual ‘Carolina Crank-Up’ was held September
1-2-3-4 at Blowing Rock, N.C. We enjoyed sunshine all four days as
compared to our first show of rain and fog. Spectators, along with
many displays, rolled in from all over the eastern United
During the Crank-Up we had over 4,000 spectators watching with
amazement the iron ‘monsters’ of the past ‘doing their
Oats were threshed with a McCormick Deering threshing machine
powered by a 25×65 Frick. V.J. Cline of N.C. kept this engine
puffing away all four days. The oat bundles were all hand tied,
which is not uncommon to this mountain area. The two trucks used in
transporting the oats bundles to the thresher were very much at
home, a 1919 solid rubber tire Kissel and a 1929 Graham Brothers.
Coal was hauled to the steam engines on a 1930 International
After the threshing came the dusty job of bailing the straw.
This was performed witn an Ann Arbor hand tie block bailer. The
power was supplied by a 1938 Huber tractor and a McCormick Deering
tractor owned by Gene McLaughlin.
There were many new attractions added to this year’s show.
One of these was ‘Boot Black’ Gryder making benches and
stools from logs. This furniture was handmade without the use of
nails, screws or glue and was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.
‘Bootblack’ called this operation the ‘Hillside
The H. O. Gauge Model R. R. Layout was kept rolling all four
days by two teenage engineers, Vicki and Franklin. The R.R.
consists of three main lines and a trolley line with overhead
There were two wood-splitters running this year, both powered by
hit-n-miss engines. This arts was demonstrated several times daily
through the entire show. Frank Hodges operated his antique wood
lathe which was very interesting to watch. His lathe was powered by
an IHC engine. On display also was his hit and miss Hercules and a
miniature water powered gristmill.
Down at the sawmill the familiar buzz was kept up for all four
day. Several small loads of logs were sawed along with one tractor
trailer load. Bobby Miller was the fireman on the return flue
Farquhar, Bob Powel and Archie Cline were chief sawwers on the
A good number of gasoline engines were hitting away on the
grounds. These gas engine guys really help to make a show more
enjoyable. The following had engines on display this year. Dennis
Williams, Va. Wilfred Schneider, Fla. Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Hutchings,
Tenn. Lloyd McGowen, Norman & Ernest Durham, S.C. Mr. &
Mrs. Paul Russell, Robert Hammer, Sr., Robert Hammer, Jr., Robert
Hammer III, Joe Strabe, Bobby Carter, Williard Moore and T.J.
Redwine, All from N.C. Bill Grimley, Ala. and Bob Rogers, S.C.
On Saturday evening everyone gathered together for a pot-luck
supper. A good time was enjoyed by all and the mear was very
Sunday morning all the ‘Iron Monsters’ were quiet for
the annual Crank-Up church service. The Rev. Marvin Saunders
delivered a very meaningful message for all who attended. This
service was held in and around the yard of the log cabin with a
large number of people attending.
The food concession was sponsored by the Blowing Rock Puritan
Club. Waffles, fudge and hot roasted peanuts were made and served
by Rev. & Mrs. Cliff Brannan of Fla.
There were many flea market displays along with the Schneider
family from Fla. making handmade leather goods. All the way from
Okla. came our blacksmith, Howard McKinnis, who had a great time
getting to know everyone. This was his first steam show and he
watched with much amazement as the men and machines performed.
David Fultz, N.C. was back again to run the 6 H.P. Case traction
engine. He also looked after the 20 H.P. Advance Rumely which seems
to be the favorite of all our engineers. Bob Reith and wife, Ohio,
kept the 16 H.P. double cylinder Frick rolling. Robert Lyerly, N.C.
had his Baker fan at the show again. Archie Cline seemed mighty
pleased to hear that sharp exhaust crack when he pulled the fan
with the Advance Rumley.
Along with these interesting ‘noise makers’ for the men
were several displays for the ladies and children. Mrs. Gaither
Gryder’s Quilting in the cabin was enjoyed by all, as was the
demonstrations of hand tie lace and carding and spinning wool into
yarn. There were a variety of other crafts one of which was pottery
making. You could sit at the wheel and throw your own pot.
The children (as well as adults) enjoyed the folk toy
demonstrations, stories, and display performed at regular intervals
during each day.
These were very exciting days in the mountains of N.C. when once
again the days of yesteryear were brought alive.
Plans are now being made for the 3rd Annual Carolina Crank-Up to
be held LABOR DAY WEEKEND NOTICE NEW LOCATION Will be held at LAKE
HICKORY CAMPGROUND, CONOVER, N.C. Watch for our ad in IMA Coming