By your Roving Reporter, Bellevue, Pennsylvania
Each year the Chamber of Commerce of Brookville, Ohio, stage a community picnic. The event took place this year at Golden State Park on August 13h. The merchants of Brookville put up valuable prizes, we never knew there could be so many rewards for winners of the various contests which were conducted during the afternoon and evening. Activities were made up of soft ball games, trap shooting, band concerts, races of all kinds, square dancing, and finally a grand display of fireworks lasting some thirty minutes. These various activities were pretty much the usual pattern of past Brookville picnics. This year something new and sensational was added and that is the reason for this story. Our good and genial friend, Homer Holp was made chairman of the committee in charge of steam engines. And what a Show he put on. It was the talk of the crowd all day' Needless to say, the Holp family can put on a steam show equal to the best of them and they are deserving of congratulations in that their first show was an outstanding success.
Seventy-three-year-old John Holp, father of Homer, showed the people how to thresh with his quarter century Baker rig doing the job. The Holp sons, three of them, showed how steamers fit into the modern way of life, as they organized a 'hot rod' steam engine race. Two such races were put on with young Harley Holp taking the top cash prize in driving a shiny Gaar-Scott engine to victory. It was a close race all the way with such outstanding engines in competition as, Advance, Baker, Case, and Advance-Rumley taking part. Young Harley was heard to say, 'The barking of those engines on my tail made me feel like a jack rabbit with some fast hounds closing in.'
I think the great steady attraction all day was the sawmill set-up. This mill sawed several thousand feet of lumber. Engines were changed from one to another, Advance-Rumley, Advance, Baker, Case, and last but not least a 16 hp. Russell. The only engine to last out the full job was a little Empire 6 hp. portable owned by Mr. C. E. Richardson. This little engine powered the slab saw for the making of fire wood. Your reporter was made official engineer without a grumble and this made his day a complete pleasure. Thanks Rich. I am looking forward to more of the same next August. It was quite exciting and most interesting to observe the smooth and wonderful power from every one of those fine engines. The action of the engine governors when the great saw bit into a large log, and the music from the engine stacks, did render the quiet of the passing hour, as those logs turned into beautiful new boards.
To be sure, the steamers took the, the large tractions, the smaller portable and engine working models. All attracted attention and made fun and pleasure for the thousands of spectators. They will long remember the day and so very many of them expressed a fond hope that the steamers, with the threshing and saw-milling will have a part in all future Brookville picnics. We think they will!