ONTARIO STEAM & ANTIQUE PRESERVERS ASSOCIATION

By Staff

The Ontario Steam and Antique Preservers Association held their
3rd annual show in Milton, Ontario, over Labour Day weekend when an
estimated 27,000 jammed into the Milton Fairgrounds to make it a
‘Fantastic’ success.

From Friday morning until Monday night, the Association members
presented a gala showing of steam engines, gas tractors, small gas
engines, antique equipment, threshing and other farm demonstrations
and machinery that thrilled the thousands of visitors from all over
Canada and the United States.

Monday’s crowd, estimated at 14,000, was the largest crowd
ever seen in Milton at any one time in the town’s 106-year-old
history. ‘This is terrific… fantastic,’ said the
president, Gordon Smith of Orillia. ‘We never expected such a
response. If this keeps up, ours will be the largest steam show in
Canada’. He issued an invitation to all the visitors to rejoin
the Association for another bigger and better show on the same
holiday weekend, next year.

There were 30 traction steam engines; 35 antique tractors; 40
gas engines; 56 vintage cars and trucks; and many miscellaneous
pieces of farm equipment, too numerous to mention, buildings full
of models, and antiques of all kinds.

Milton Chamber of commerce cooperated in publicizing this
year’s Reunion with a gala week long Old-Fashioned Days
celebration throughout the town. Friday started out with a parade
around the track atone o’clock of a large variety of machinery,
followed by a full program of threshing, log sawing, hammer mill,
prony brake, baker fan, and many other demonstrations put on by the
huge steam monsters and other equipment. The 7 P.M. parade through
the town was followed by an Old-Tyme dance on the street with many
of the local residents in old fashioned costume.

Saturday started off with a bang when about 9 A.M. the people
started flocking in and by night there was an estimated crowd of
12,000 on the grounds. This day was full of activity, machines
always putting on demonstrations in front of the grandstand, one
large parade through the town at 12:30, lead by an antique car,
owned by Fred Thompson, and he had as passengers Hon. Wm. Stewart,
minister of Agriculture, and his wife. After the mammoth parade the
Show was officially opened by the minister, assisted by President
Gordon Smith, Mayor Syd Childs, of Milton and Adrienne Nurse of Ash
grove, Halton’s Dairy Princess.

‘This is one of the greatest shows I have ever seen’ was
a comment made by Hon. W. A. Stewart, in his opening of the show
address. Following their official duties the special guests were
invited to drive off on steam engines provided by Association
members. Once again the Minister of Agriculture proved his prowess
as he pulled the right levers and got Dave Rogers’ big George
White rolling down the track.

Much gaiety was added to the show by the music from a band organ
operated by a steam engine, which attracted all ages, thanks to
Captain John Lennard of St. Catherines. Another attraction which
the 17,000 sitting on the grandstand really enjoyed was Antique car
experts staged a demonstration on how to assemble a Model T Ford.
They put it together and drove it away in less than eight
minutes.

To climax a full day of excitement the Milton Chamber of
Commerce sponsored a program and old time dance in the Arena with
Doc Williams and his Border riders, which was much enjoyed by over
14,000 fans.

Monday was another beautiful day and by noon the grounds were
packed with an estimated crowd of 14,000 people, who were all
smiling and a bit dusty too. There were two mammoth parades, along
with every machine working to keep the crowd entertained. One late
arrival was a 27ton English plowing engine owned by Charles Mathews
of Lang staff. Farmers used to place one of these engines at each
end of the field and drag a ten far row plow across the field from
one machine to the other, using cables on winches located below the
boilers. Mr. Mathews also exhibited the largest steam engine of the
show a 115 HP 14 on Sawyer-Massey. Among the other steamers on
display was a horse drawn 1885 Norsworthy.

Heather Devlin, of Hull had no competition this year and won the
Allan Byers trophy when she was the only competitor. Jim Heslop of
Hagersville won the Hugh Clark trophy with his unusual McTaggart
tractor; Vince & Elgin Riddell received the Johnson & Holt
trophy for the best restoration job on their 16 HP Waterloo
engine.

Honorable mentions were given to a Case entered by Bernard
Porter of Woodstock and a Sawyer-Massey jointly owned by Allan
Byers and Arnold McDuffe of Milton.

Robert Stevenson of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England won recognition
for coming the farthest distance. About 30 members of the New York
Steam Association were guests at the show, and other steam
enthusiasts were present from the Blyth and Petrollia areas.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment