Case Equipment Featured at Steam Power Show

| January/February 1976

North Central Illinois Steam Power Show, Box 111, Davis Junction, Ill. 61020

Reprinted from the Case Mark September 1975, Gabriella S. Birkholtz, Editor

Steam engine whistles blare through the country air. Steam and Smoke pour from late 19th and early 20th century machines. Horses plow the ground. Oats are fed into an 1889 Case Agitator Thresher. You are carried back into the agricultural history as you visit one of the numerous old time thresherees held throughout the nation in late summer.

The North Central Illinois Steam Power Show in Ogle County, south of Rockford, is just such an event. It's a lesson in agricultural and J.I. Case Company history. It's an opportunity for old timers, who remember the days of community thresherees to get the grain harvested, to reminisce and to operate some of the equipment their fathers and grandfathers used back in the days of farm homesteading. It's an opportunity for city folks to get out in the country and learn something about farming years ago. And it is an opportunity for machinery buffs to see some of the old-time equipment in actual use.

The man behind the North Central Illinois Steam Power Show, which runs for four days each August and attracts an estimated 20,000 visitors, is 52 year-old George W. Hedtke, an electrician by vocation and a steam engine authority by avocation.

Hedtke has owned the 45-acre show site, Hickory-Oaks, since 1971. The show, which has nearly 20-year history, was held there for the first time last year. On the land are several old buildings which Hedtke has moved from other locations for a small frontier village. The only modern structure is a large 60'x144' metal barn, in which Hedtke houses his numerous antique machines, and which is converted to an area for various displays, as well as a dining room, during the yearly Steam Power Show. Hedtke and his collie, Casey, will move to Hickory-Oaks as soon as a well is drilled.