Midwest Old Threshers


| May/June 1994



Steam engines

Steam engines parading in the Cavalcade of Power, Saturday September 4th.Caption for image.

The 44th Midwest Old Threshers Reunion, September 2-6, was quite the accomplishment. Despite two days of rain, the event was pulled off with tremendous efforts by the staff and volunteers. 'After the record floods and heavy rains earlier this summer, we were expecting a tremendous turnout at this year's event,' administrator Lennis Moore said. The crowds were very good, with a record number of visitors coming in on Saturday. Total attendance was 55,350, down just a little bit from last year, but all-in-all a great turnout.

Over 100 steam engines were on the grounds for the reunion. Although they only paraded two days during the event, the demonstrations in the steam area kept exhibitors busy the entire time. With daily demonstrations of a shingle mill, running the veneer mill, and operations of the prony brake and Baker fan, the exhibitors weren't hard pressed to find something to do or talk about. Highlights in the traction steam area included Joe Bishop's 60 HP Case engine. Joe pulled his engine all the way from Arvada, Colorado, and as a first time exhibitor thrilled many reunion visitors with his beautifully restored engine. Joe and his engine also were part of this year's opening ceremonies. A special thanks goes to Leroy McClure of Colchester, Illinois, for organizing threshing demonstrations throughout the event.

With 300-plus antique tractors on the grounds, the tractor enthusiast could look to his or her delight. Besides parading in the Cavalcade of Power Saturday and Sunday, exhibitors participated in the antique tractor pull on Saturday morning. Baker fan and the belt driven dynamometer demonstrations were held daily. One of the highlights of the event was Dwight Shellabarger's tractor of the year, the La Crosse Line Drive. On several occasions we saw Dwight putting the La Crosse through its paces on the Old Threshers grounds.

Joe Bishop of Arvada, Colorado, restored this beautiful 60 HP Case engine and displayed it for the first time at the 1993 Midwest Old Threshers Reunion.

The antique car area again this year had a great selection of finely restored cars. Besides participating in the Cavalcade of Power, many cars were put to use transporting special guests of Midwest Old Threshers around the grounds. The antique cars and trucks were also a highlight in the Harvest Day Parade which is held the day before the reunion.

This year's featured gas engine was the New Way engine (it goes and goes right!!!) Many of the New Way engines were displayed at this year's reunion. With nearly 1,000 engines on the grounds, visitors were treated to a wide variety of demonstrations. Rock crushing, washing machines, and even powering a mini Ferris wheel were presentations put on by this year's exhibitors.