20 HP Russell owned by Bob Cappon at Michigan Steam Engines & Threshers Show in Mason, Michigan. Engine operated by Gordon Cappon.
Sec. 703 Curtis Street Mason, Michigan 48854
As we all know, another season of steam shows has come and gone. We, as a club, are now looking forward to a winter of steam meetings and planning next year's show. I wish that all shows could have enjoyed the good weather and fine crowds that we did.
We, as in most parts of the country, had dry hot weather most of the months of May, June and July. All of the grass had dried up and fire could have been a problem. We finally received a substantial rain about two weeks before our show. This and some more rain made our grounds green and eliminated most of our fear of fire.
Things got started on Friday morning with a good bunch of engines and a fair crowd. We proceeded throughout the day with lumber sawing, shingle mill in operation, threshing and plowing.
Also for the first time in four years, we had our very large crane, which runs on steam, fired up and running. We used it to put logs on the roll way of the sawmill. This machine was built for the Raymond Pile Driving Company and was used mostly for that purpose. It had a new all welded boiler put on in 1956 so we are in good shape as far as the boiler is concerned, although we still have to replace at least one tube before next year's show. We had many compliments from people as they watched this fine old machine work. It is very quiet and as smooth as silk to operate.
Our sawyer, Ken Lewis, did a fine job of operating the sawmill as always. We sawed with many different engines during the show and also tractors. I don't know how many logs there were but everything went along like clock work for all three days.
The shingle mill brought in by Bev Myers and his son, Lon along with their 10 HP Advance, sawed many shingles which people carried off as souvenirs.
The threshing machine was brought in by Lee Clark; he was also separator man. The grain was short this year but good and dry so the threshing went very nicely.
When they were done threshing Paul Bollinger baled the straw with an old Ann Arbor baler. This is the kind where a wooden block is inserted every so often with slots in it. A person on one side of the machine sticks wires through these slots and a person on the other side wraps these around each other and this ties the bale. When I was a boy at home we had one of these too. If you weren't careful you would wire a block into the bale, and would have to open the bale to get it out. You would get by with this once in a while, but if it happened too often, you were told to pay better attention.
On Saturday we had a weight transfer sled come in so that we could put on an engine and tractor pull. This was open to our club members and their equipment only. There are no prizes but we sure had a lot of fun.
We were able to plow all three days as always, and with as many engines as possible. We use a six bottom plow with 18 inch bottoms. This puts quite a load on a 20 or 22 HP engine.
Our good friend John McDowell brought his power eater. This is an excellent machine as it puts a varying load on an engine, and he gives you as much or as little as you want.
Other exhibits, we had them. We had them poked into every available spot. This was achieved by a very able Jim Luks who does a super job. These exhibits ranged from all kinds of gas engines to most anything you could think of.
In our diesel engine building, things were kept popping and banging. Also in the small steam engine display there was a fair amount of equipment.
The ladies had many fine things that they were selling such as caps, T-shirts, sweatshirts, buttons and ribbons, also plates and cups. They do much toward making the show a success.
We had a good crowd for the dance on Saturday night and I am sure that it was enjoyed by all that attended.
There is also a flea market where you may browse or buy as you wish. Sometime during the parade we try to put on a little comedy act which the people like very much.
As the winter progresses we are making plans for a huge Advance and Advance-Rumely steam engine display. This will be our feature for the year of 1989. There will be on display also much literature and sales promotional items. We wish to extend a personal invitation to everybody; it will be a trip and show well worth the time spent.
As a member of this show I wish to thank all the people that came and all the members and exhibitors for their participation. REMEMBER July 28th, 29th and 30th of 1989. See you then!