The first Mill Road Thresherman Show began in 1982 near a wooded area south of Altamont, Illinois. The show was put on by some friends and relatives who wanted their children and grandchildren to experience farming the way it was ‘way back when.’
Seventeen years later, the 18th Annual Show was held the weekend of July 9-11, 1999 at the Effingham County Fairground located just east of Altamont, Illinois, on U.S. Highway 40.
Oliver was the featured tractor. The Hartland Oliver Collector’s Club summer show was part of the Thresherman Show. A large number of antique Oliver/Hart Parr tractors and farm machinery were on display for visitors to enjoy.
Steam engines, antique tractors and farm equipment, stationary gas engines and scale model steam engines and equipment were on display daily. Threshing, baling and plowing demonstrations took place several times each day. This gave visitors to the event an idea of what farming was like with steam power. Horse and buggy rides made rounds of the fair ground each day of the show. A flea market was also open each day, and on Saturday and Sunday a model train show was held.
A power parade was held Saturday afternoon, followed by a pedal tractor pull for the children. An antique tractor pull began at 6:00 p.m. using a weight transfer sled. The pull was open to all and put on by Larry Stephens and the Clark County Antique Pullers.
Sunday began with an 8:00 a.m. worship service. An antique auto show, with 10 classes, was held during the day. An Ag Power Parade of steam engines, tractors and equipment used on farms during the past century was held at 1:00 p.m. Included in the 60 parade entries were a 1918 Cleveland crawler, a 1999 John Deere 8300, and a 1999 Case IH MX 270. A 1948 Studebaker pickup truck, originally owned by an area farmer, was also in the parade. Many of the farmer’s relatives are active members of the Mill Road Club.
The 19th annual Mill Road Thresherman Association Steam Threshing and Antique Show will be held July 7-9, 2000. It will again be held at the Effingham County Fairgrounds. To reach the fairgrounds from I-70, take Exit 82; turn right at the exit (going north) to the four-way stop, then right about mile on Rt. 40.