| March/April 1959

Mt. Pleasant, Iowa

As the sixty five steam engines, large and small, chugged away and visitors roamed around the grounds at McMillan Park in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, the general consensus of opinion was that the event was a huge success and growing. As in years before, there were several new engines added again, another event or two, and changes that helped make the show easier to see and a more continuous program so that there was always something doing.

The grandstand was jam-packed every afternoon and evening and row of spectators stood or sat alongside the track for the parade while hundreds milled around the ground. Previous attendance records were surpassed and a count of cars was made for the first time on Saturday, the record day, resulting in an estimated attendance of over 50,000 for the day and over 100,000 for the entire 4-day reunion.

The addition of 5 acres of ground from the year before and the large new building for the display of antiques, booths and demonstrations made it possible to spread out over an area without crowding and run several engine operations at the same time.

The free gate, grandstand and parking and freedom from commercialism continues to be the policy of the association and probably the main reason visitors come back year after year bringing the whole family and making the event a vacation. As in the past practically all the states in the union were represented and a number of visitors from Canada were here.

The 'Old Thresher of 1958' honor went to six Pratt Brothers from Van Buren County, Iowa, ranging in age from 65 to 80 years. The 'Old Settler of 1958' award was presented to John Van Syoc, of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, an 89-year-old.


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