(Where the Eagles Came to Roost in 1997)
R.R. 13, Box 209, Brazil, Indiana 47834
I visited the 1997 Case Exposition at Georgetown, Ohio, during the August 7-10 show. The show had attracted some out of state 'Case Birds' such as Tommy Lee of Calhoun, Kentucky, and Chady Atteberry of Blackwell, Oklahoma, as well as many Case exhibitors from Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. Many of us non-Case steam engine owners were also present and the show was enjoyed by all.
Georgetown certainly made the Case people feel at home as free gate admission was given to anyone who would fess-up to being a 'Case Man.' The large Case tent had many interesting displays and sold Case hats, gloves and other items. Case items and equipment surrounded the tent as far as the eye could see.
The steam part of the Expo made a good showing as eight Case steam engines were present, ranging from 15 HP to 110 HP. The other full size steam engines at the show were Russell, Frick, Sawyer Massey and Keck-Gonnerman.
Fred Staton of Lexington, Kentucky, brought two Case steam engines out of his collection, a 75 HP and a 30 HP. It wasn't long before the 30 HP Case was put through the paces with Chady Atteberry running the engine and Joe Graziana of Wood River, Illinois, doing the steering. I wouldn't be surprised if Chady received a bill from the Georgetown club for replacing the sod on the hill next to the sawmill. Many times Chady ran the 30 HP Case up the hill to make it bark and then backed it down to the bottom and started all over again.
30 HP Case serial #30816 owned by Fred Staton of Lexington, KY at Georgetown. Joe Graziana and Chady Atteberry at the controls.
15-45 Case serial #18307 owned by Kermit Kibler of Bucyrus, OH at Georgetown show. The older Case engines are characterized by their short smoke boxes and small number plates.
Chady had glazed eyes as if he were imagining that he was back on the incline at Pawnee, Oklahoma. Each time the engine was run up the hill, it was on a little steeper grade than it was on the trip before. The steerman, Joe Graziana, also had a glazed look in his eyes, but for a completely different reason. The hill climbing continued until on a steep section of the hill, the engine raised up off its front wheels and Joe decided he needed a restroom break.
19-65 HP Keck-Gonnerman serial #1873 owned by the Dean family, Georgetown, Ohio. This is the next to the last steam engine the Keck-Gonnerman Co. built.
The Georgetown show grounds is large and easily accommodated the several hundred tractors and gas engines which were on display. The Ohio Valley Antique Machinery Show, the J.I. Case Heritage Foundation and the many exhibitors should be congratulated on having a fine show.