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
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
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
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
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.