Labor Day 1991 at Cedar Valley Engine Club's Show. Photo by Sonja Slindee.
613 8th Avenue Charles City, Iowa 50616
Here goes for the Cedar Valley Engine Club. We had a wonderful show this year; the weather was good for all three days. We got the stuff all put away, and we had a swap meet the last weekend in September. We had a record attendance this year, approximately three hundred more than we ever had before. We are going to keep on in this way, as time goes on.
Our John Deere exhibit was good. We featured John Deeres this year. We had the all wheel drive from Sycamore, Illinois this year; a lot of people looked at it was a real attraction. Built in 1917, it was a four cylinder tractor that drives from all three wheels. It made a good show piece. We drove it in the parade each day. It was put in the shed at night, so it would be protected. There was a man here with it.
I don't know how many John Deeres we had. We had everything. Two Cylinder Club was here, with a good exhibit. We hope we can keep up the good work.
New stuff this year was a combine by International Harvester, one of the first self-propelled they made. It was the second in a series, I think. It was a 1949 or 1950. It cut oats last year and cut oats again this year. It is in the shed, and we hope people will admire it when they see it.
There were lots of other tractors there, such as Oliver, Hart Parr, International, and Silver King. You name it, we had it. We also had Allis Chalmers there. They were good exhibits. Another new exhibit was the Cletrac. I didn't find out if the owner put it on rubber tracks or not. They had wheels in there, it was a small crawler, another good exhibit.
Our big steam engine is in the shed, a cross compound. It pulls from two cylinders, also a good exhibit. We invited people to come to see it. It's really worth their time, as we believe it is the only one like it in the world. It does good by us.
Another exhibit is a three cylinder Fairbanks Morse diesel. We are getting it fixed up now so it really runs nice. It is started first with another tractor; after that they have an air tank to start it. It is something to see them start it they start it a half-hour ahead of time, and warm it up with blow torches. We are teaching a young fellow how to run it; hope he keeps it going for us.
We have other big engines there. We have the Hungerfords there, and one that runs on LP gas. He starts it with a power take off. When he gets it running, it runs good. They have the old Lennox there and it's quite a good show piece. It's a big engine, 15 HP. The other engine is a 22, a natural gas engine, he runs it on LP.
We did some remodeling last year. The kitchen is organized so they can handle it better, and they are building an addition hooking it onto the corn crib. They cleaned out the corn crib, enclosed it, put it on the north side, and added refrigeration, a freezer, and wash stand for washing dishes. It all makes it a lot better for the ladies, all around.
We've got a parking area. We had to move campers out farther, don't have as much shade. But we are growing as we grow bigger. Made it all better.
The ground was plowed this fall, the week before Thanksgiving. Swartzrock let me take out a chisel plow. We got done by noon. At three o'clock, it was raining. It was a beautiful job. We have had to pull third gear, which is about five miles, didn't pull it down once. So, it is all ready for next spring.
Our oat crop didn't amount to much, it was so wet. Drowned it out. Quack grass and other grasses, we sprayed quack grass early, should kill it for several years. We had plenty to thresh, but there weren't many oats in it.
Well the corn shredder runs, cuts it the fall before, and puts it in his barn, brings it down to the show and shreds it there.
My boys have their own corn sheller there and pull it with an eight horse Waterloo Boy. I tell them they are back where their grandfather used to be. My father shelled corn with a six horse engine.
We have the engines in a kind of close area. They are on the ground or else on trailers, there is no room for pickups in this area, so all of the engines are easy to see. They make a very nice exhibit. There are two or three hundred of them.
Our little saw mill is pulled by a half scale 40 horse Avery, owned by Roger Burns from Racine, Minnesota. He comes down every year. It is a good exhibit.
Then we have the big saw mill. It is pulled with the big steam engines. It is quite an attraction.
All in all we have a good show, we have a parade and we have a good time at the parade. On Sunday, it was Connie and Dennis Aissens' wedding anniversary. We gave them a plant this year. We had a big plant when we got through the drawing; we still had a couple of tractors to give away for the main prizes, and we called Connie up on the platform, she didn't know what was going on. Got her up there, her husband was up there, we presented them with this plant. They were surprised. This will give them a good remembrance of the engine show.
We had a young couple stop in from clear up northeastern Wisconsin. They didn't know anything about the show, so I showed them around. I told them that seeing the things wasn't anything like being there when the show was on. I gave them a video.
If anyone wants to see a video of the show, write to Cedar Valley Engine Show, we'll send them one to view. It is too much work to copy them for you to keep them, but they can watch it, and play it for their neighbors, and then they will all want to come next year. So if you want to to view it, paying postage both ways is all that it will cost you.
Our exhibits were excellent this year. I don't know what to talk about. The Titan was quite an exhibit and as tractors go, it is new. We have run more hours on it than the guy who had it before. It is one of the last ones. I am glad that we have it and hope people enjoy it.
It is nice to see these young folks who have the time and money to put into fixing up their steam engines. They use them by putting them on the sawmill and threshing machine.
Paul Squires, almost 80 years old, still wants to run them, he says, though after his hip and knees were operated on it is quite a job for him to get around. He is tall and thin and goes like a 'house afire.' Paul started running steam engines when he was young and sees that everything that needs to be done gets done. He is doing more than he should do. We must be thankful for him and help him all we can.
I'm 76 and have had both knees operated on. I can get around pretty good. They are a little touchy, and the boys know it and help me out, more power to them.
Our show will be September 5, 6, 7, 1992. Come and see us and see what you think of it.