Route 1, 7610 Waverly Road, Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613
Antique Acres, north of Cedar Falls, Iowa, was once again alive with activity during 1976. A new museum building provided 'something for everyone,' and with its newly panelled interior is the pride and joy of all the Antique Acres members. One of the main attractions in the museum is the 400-horse Murray Corliss, which was beautifully repainted by Mr. and Mrs. Marv Behrens of Stout, Iowa. When Andy Fischels, the chief engineer, starts it up, a large crowd draws near to watch.
Other attractions in the building include a merry-go-round steam engine owned by the Smolik Brothers, Osage, Iowa; a horse-drawn binder owned by Andy Fischels, Waterloo, Iowa; several walking plows, owned and beautifully restored by Mr. and Mrs. Harold Eggar of Fredericka, Iowa; and many other pieces of machinery owned and restored by various members. An impressive display of household items, such as old kitchen stoves, a laundry stove, antique furniture, telephones, photographs, and other items of interest, captured the attention of the ladies.
A new and larger souvenir booth has been added to Antique Acres. Doris Pries of Bremer, Iowa does a great job of running the booth, and provides an extensive array of books, magazines, belt buckles, replicas of cast iron toys, and many other items for sale.
Several neighboring communities, such as Gilbertville, Reinbeck, Denver, Waverly, Raymond, Waterloo and Cedar Falls, were treated with a sample of Antique Acres last summer when John Ruth of Waverly, Iowa, took his float to centennial and bicentennial parades. This float is a real attention-getter always alive with activity and sound. It features an exhibit of gas engines of various sizes and types, a small steam engine, and old wash machines, all of which are running. Old time music provides an appropriate background.
Several tractor pulls were on Antique Acres' calendar in 1976 also, with both garden tractors and big tractors included. In addition, there was a class of antique tractors pulling. And a few times even the old steam engines, such as the Wood Brothers, owned by Andy Fischels and Sons, got into the act! Dale Hansen of Waterloo's KWWL-TV, announced all the pull-by-pull action.
The highlight of the summer though, was the big four-day show in August. Main events included daily parades, threshing, plowing and sawing. A fine job of threshing was done with the Wood Brothers Humming Bird, owned by Andy Fischels and Sons. A few ambitious spectators had a chance to try their hand at pitching bundles. Log-sawing was done with Stuart Fenton's sawmill, assisted by Cliff Johnston of Cedar Falls, and Cleo Howard of Dike, Iowa. Various steam engines and tractors provided the power.
The 40-140 Reeves engine and the 110 horse-power Case, owned by the Smolik Brothers did their usual fine job of plowing with a 14 bottom plow. The Reeves is the largest traction engine in existence today, and the only one of that make and H.P. still running. Cliff Johnston plowed with his Case tractor and roto plow. Everett Hildebrand and his teams of horses plowed with a walking plow and sulky plow.
Almost every tractor, steam engine, antique car, and horse participated in the parade. The horses pulled the bundle wagons of oats to be threshed. New to the parade line-up this year were a Moline Universal tractor owned by Richard Witt of Cedar Falls, an Avery farm Tractor owned by Alfred Lindaman of Waterloo, and Graham Bradley owned by Cliff Johnston, all recently restored, repainted, and in good running order. Lee Zesch of Marshalltown, Iowa, made the spectators take notice, with his 15-27 Minneapolis Cross Motor.
During the show, two buildings at Antique Acres were filled with flea markets, selling and displaying antiques, glassware, gift items, and the like. A two piece band from Waverly provided fine polka music in the museum building during the show when the Corliss wasn't running. Every day the noon hour was announced by the whistles on all the steam engines sounding in unison.
After the show the activity didn't stop. A railroad car which was used by the French during World War I to transport troops and horses was recently added to the attractions at Antique Acres. This car is owned by the 40 & 8 Club of Waterloo. It is setting on rails and will be restored in time for the next show, with various WWI memorabilia on display inside.
In September, Antique Acres provided a large exhibit at Waterloo's National Dairy Cattle Congress. Eight tractors were displayed, as well as an impressive array of souvenirs and novelty items.
Plans are already under way for the next season of excitement at Antique Acres. The dates for the next show have tentatively been set for August 24, 25, 26 and 27, 1977. Campground facilities with modern restrooms and showers, and picnic areas are provided.