Memories Are Kept Alive At Mt. Pleasant, Iowa

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The large and small steam engines parade daily in front of the new grandstand which was completed just before opening day at the 1969 Reunion. The new structure seats 2500 persons and is fireproof.
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The Midwest Village is one of the busiest areas on the grounds and is ''a pack of fun'' for those of all ages. The country church at the end of the street has hymn singing, daily 5 p.m. vespers, golden anniversary couples renewing their vows or an occasio

Route 4, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa 52641.

Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, home of the Midwest Old Settlers and
Threshers Reunion, has been busy since last September making plans
for another mammoth steam festival which will be opening September
3rd for five days and continuing through Labor Day, September
7th.

Labeled by author – photographer, Dana Jennings, as ‘The
Greatest Steam Show on Earth,’ this festival is again expected
to attract visitors from all states and many foreign countries.
Last year visitors from every state spotted their hometowns on a
large map near headquarters. Seventeen countries were also
represented.

More improvements are now being made in the camp grounds to
accommodate more visitors who wish to camp. 1615 separate units
turned the area into a small city during the 1969 Reunion. Many
will again be coming for several days ahead of the opening date to
join in the excitement of the last minute preparations.

The Reunion offers a taste of life as it was lived in rural
America around the turn of the century.

Thousands thrill each year as the large giants, fire boxes
glowing and whistles shrilling, followed by the baby models, many
driven by their proud builders, parade daily in front of the free
grandstand. They number nearly 100 and are joined by about 60
early-day tractors.

Old Maria No. 6, which huffed and puffed its way amid the hills
of the logging country near Hardyville, South Carolina, pulls
passenger cars on repeated runs around the grounds carrying
hundreds of visitors who have flocked to this Iowa celebration to
‘throttle down’ and relive for a time the farm days long
gone by.

Those of all ages, including women and children, find a
different kind of entertainment in the early-day village. The
buildings in the village, many preserved as they were when they
served Midwest inhabitants, are alive with activity. The country
school holds a spelling bee, a song fest or debate; the church has
hymn singing and a daily 5 p.m. vesper, golden anniversary couples
renew their vows, or there is an occasional real live wedding;
visitors may buy a pickle, a piece of cheese or a sunbonnet at the
country store; mail a letter at the post-office; pick up a paper
from the old-time printing press; enjoy the entertainment in the
tavern and buy a cold cup of cider. The village also includes a
jail, bank, fire station, blacksmith shop, barber shop, bandstand,
medicine wagon and depot.

Demonstrations are going on all of the time to illustrate
early-day crafts. There is steam and horse-power threshing, shingle
making, large and miniature saw mills operating, plus a veneer
mill. Those people who have mastered their art demonstrate
spinning, weaving, quilting, caning, broom making, sorghum making
and soap making, plus the preparation of several thousand taffy
apples. 15,000 were made for visitors-last year.

Stationary gas engines, expected this year to total 300, are
brought from as far away as California. They will be used to shall
corn, power a miniature saw mill, oat huller, burr mill and grist
mill, to name a few. In the nearby antique farm machinery building,
visitors can see the 125 horsepower Corliss engine.

Food is one of the big attractions at the Midwest Old Settlers
and Threshers Reunion each year and is reminiscent of that kind of
fare that was served to the ‘threshing crew’ each harvest
time. 6152 pieces were consumed during the show time last fall,
plus 450 gallons of cider and 2000 pounds of popcorn to name a
few.

America’s oldest continually running tent show, the
Schaffncr Players, an antique itself, will have daily performances
and again will present a full repertoire of vaudeville, drama,
music and fun. It will be completing its 45th year of entertaining
the folk of rural America with entertainment that makes one forget
the world as it is and remember the keen enjoyment of the obvious.
The Schaffner Players will set up for the full week so that fans of
this type of theatre may see more performances.

Competition and enthusiasm are generated at the checker
tournament, the horseshoe pitching contest and the Old Fiddlers
contest, the latter offering $200 in prize money. Antiques are for
sale by 20 dealers.

Homes and hearts will again be opened this September in this
friendly southeastern Iowa town where thousands pour in. Motels and
hotels accommodate Reunioners, as well as room in private
homes.

The Association is a non-profit organization and a $2 membership
button admits one for the five-day show. Children under high school
age are admitted free. Ground trains serve the 160 acres of the
show grounds, free shuttle bus service is provided to and from the
grounds to the Mt. Pleasant business district, free parking on the
grounds, free programs each day in the big tent for the ladies, and
the American Association of Retired People hosts a ‘hospitality
tent.’

Farm Collector Magazine
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Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment