Climbing The Hill

| July/August 1988

RR#2,Box 178, Arcola, Illinois, 61910

Two -scale steam models: in foreground, an Advance Rumely built by Russell Helm; to rear, a Reeves owned by Mr. Arrow smith of Perryville, IN.

Ten years of steady growth coupled with the rarity of equipment exhibits brought in from all over the United States and Canada have made the Douglas County Historical Steam Festival at Arcola, Illinois one show that you will definitely want to include on your 1988 show schedule. The two show ingredients just mentioned are only possible because of the third ingredient people. Any show is only as good as the many people who support the show and in the case of this show, we are blessed with the most friendly and good-hearted show supporters to be found anywhere in the Midwest.

The festival this past year featured thirteen large traction steam engines along with two one-half size steam models and several restored antique tractors and gas motors. Murray Little and Frank Doris from Keene, Ontario Canada operated the 20 HP Canadian Special Reeves plowing engine and during the course of the three days made the crowd aware of why the Canadian Reeves is all that it is built up to be and more. The 20HP Reeves hooked up to the Reeves six-bottom hand-lift plow not only exemplified the rarity of the exhibits but made a picturesque scene of twin cylinder smoothness that handled that plow like it was not even in the ground. The engineering of Murray Little and Frank Doris was as smooth as the twin cylinders themselves and also was a real credit to their attention to the smallest detail.

Mart Coslet from Murdock, Illinois was a new exhibitor this past year with his nicely restored 18HP return flue Huber. This late, heavy built engine performed beautifully on the 1889 Gaar-Scott sawmill and the 36-56 all-wood Keck Gonnerman separator. Bob Hughes from Bloomington, Indiana assisted Mart on the engineering of the Huber and the engine responded as only a return flue engine can with a different exhaust sound and plenty of power with very little need for water or coal.

Bob and Sharon Grobelny from Decatur, Illinois, exhibited for the first time, their 19HP rear mounted Keck Gonnerman, single cylinder engine and their newly restored Iro-quois double cylinder side-mounted Steam Roller. Bob and Sharon worked hard right up to show time getting the roller ready and it not only ran smoothly, but looked nice all cleaned and painted as it rolled out some rough spots on the grounds. Leland and Loyd Creed from Mattoon, Illinois, displayed their 16HP M. Rumely rear-mounted steam engine which had just been restored and was a nice addition to the engine lineup. For 1988, Leland and Loyd hope to be pulling the three-bottom Emerson gang plow with tiller steering for an unusual plowing demonstration. Richard and Kevin Kemna from Danville, Illinois, displayed their 22HP Advance Rumely and gave it a real workout on the sawmill. Power was no problem and the exhaust of the Advance Rumely could be heard throughout the show grounds.