North Central Illinois Steam Power Show Creates Nostalgia

| May/June 1976

Stillman Valley, III. 61084

DAVIS JUNCTION, ILL.:- 1830 style farmers guided the horse-drawn walking plow through resisting soil. The plowing demonstration was only one of numerous field activities, that carried visitors back to another era.

As the United States Bicentennial Celebration approaches and nostalgia has become the current fad, the North Central Illinois Steam Power Show held at Hedtke's Hickory-Oaks Farm, Davis Junction on August 7-10 had a great appeal to the hundreds of visitors who attended the 1975 show from various states and from foreign countries.

The idea of a Steam Power Show began 19 years ago when George Hedtke, President of the North Central Illinois Steam Power Show, bought his first steam engine, a threshing machine, and a 500 gallon water wagon. The complete outfit was first used by Hedtke to thresh grain in August 1957 on a farm quarter mile west of the present site of the show.

Hedtke plans to turn about 7 acres of the wooded area of his 45 acre farm into an agricultural museum in order to preserve a piece of our American Heritage for future posterity. In addition to the various steam equipment of yesterday, Hedtke is developing a Frontier Village of old time buildings at the Hickory-Oaks site.

A harness shop, town hall, blacksmith shop, barber shop, and a wood carving building, have already been donated for the Village site and are awaiting to be moved. The 105 year old harness shop has been moved and put on a foundation at the show site, and was open to the public during this year's show.