The Midwest Old Settlers and Threshers Reunion of 1965 was extended from four to five days and for the first time included Sunday and Labor Day holiday activities.
Crowds in numbers never before seen in the sixteen year history came to visit and enjoy this friendly family affair. On Sunday, when weather was ideal, thousands came, some estimated as many as 70,000 people. New parking had to be quickly opened up to handle the parking of cars and additional officers to handle traffic on the highways were summoned.
Visitors rode the narrow gauge train, and watched grain threshed, lumber sawed and sorghum made.
Still a popular event of the Reunion is the huge 'Cavalcade of Power' which features all shapes and sizes of steam engines pass in review. Thousands of people view this part of the show from the amphitheatre and along the lengthy parade route.
Each year the Old Thresher's Week highlights some historical event. For two years Civil War Centennial Pageants were featured and played to overflow crowds. The recent Chautauquas have been very successful and many see the nightly shows.
In 1965, a historical presentation entitled, 'When American Took to the Road', was presented by the Southeast Iowa Antique Car Club. The cars were the stars of the show and the production was a fast-moving, laugh-provoking production, yet carried a third dimension of an important historical era.
This Car Club maintains one of the largest and most varied collections of antique cars in the country and the country and the exhibit is open daily for inspection. The night of the show, the cars come alive and make a program that takes the viewers back to the days when America first took to the road.
Visitors in the Old Settler's Village have the feeling that time is standing still. The country school holds a nostalgic note for everyone who ever attended its classes. Band concerts from the village bandstand are reminiscent of a by-gone day. Here in the village, too, stands the peaceful country church where daily vespers services are held. The barbershop, the blacksmith shop, log cabin, post office, bank, jail and saloon, all bring a touch of the old days to the Reunion.
No sooner had the curtain rung down on the Reunion of 1965 than plans were under way for another big Reunion in the fall of 1966. The days will be September 1 through 5, starting on Thursday before Labor Day and continuing through the holiday.
New features will be added this fall just as they are each year. Already construction is underway for a large metal building 80 feet by 192 feet by 14 feet high, which will house the Corliss engines and antique farm machinery.