Farm Collector

Report of Annual Reunion of Tri-State Historical Steam Engine Association, Inc.

R. D. 1, Box 470, Charleroi, Pa. 15022.

During two days, September 22, 23, nearly 6,000 persons could
relive what many had experienced fifty and more years ago. Two
steam threshing rigs, with other related old-time machines were
demonstrating an important part of farming and living that was
common up to the year 1930. Hookstown Grange Fair Grounds had
become the scene of another successful exhibition, the 16th, that
the Association has planned and presented. And it was evident, from
the interest shown by spectators, that this was the best show which
we have presented.

The weather was ideal, the spacious grounds were in excellent
condition, and carefully-planned arrangements resulted in a
continuous, smooth-running program throughout each day. Impressive
flag-raising ceremonies by scout organizations and devotional
exercises conducted by Rev. Howard Eschbaugh, were the first orders
of each day. As usual, threshing and baling are still the
highlights of the day. Then came the sawmill and shingle making
operations. Model demonstrations and flour and cornmeal grinding
completed the regularly planned program. The ever popular parade of
all engines, tractors and horses twice daily around the track area
never fails to interest all who see it.

For additional interest, we mention the wood chopping
demonstrations by Cogar Brothers, national champions from West
Virginia, the garden tractor pull on Friday evening, and the ever
popular musical entertainment throughout Saturday by Bill Bums and
his Green Valley Band. Then the Annual Square Dance was held on
Saturday evening with music provided by the same band.

The Women’s Auxiliary conducted another successful bazaar
and handled subscriptions to the magazines and memberships in the
association. Delicious meals were provided on the grounds by the
Hookstown Grange and the Cross Creek Village Grange. Gate receipts
and parking cars were in charge of the highly efficient committee
from Hookstown Volunteer Fire Department. Numerous dealers in
antiques and many other useful items were in abundance within the

Pictured is the Setlow family’s thrashing outfit on Central
Ridge at Peck, Idaho, (near Orofino, Idaho); It is a fifteen
horsepower Case engine and a twenty-eight inch Case steel separator
which was bought new in 1908, the year the picture was taken. It
shows only part of the crew. The engine was fired with straw.
Bundles were used on short moves, supplied from a wagon like the
one that goes along the side or ahead of the engine. My brother,
Albert, was the engineer. John Schadt was the separator tender and
is steering the engine. Harry Fine was the fireman. I do not now
know who the others were.

The bundles of grain were in shocks in the field and hauled by
wagons, to the thrashing machine. The grain was put in sacks. I
think the two men riding on the separator were the sack sewers.
There was a cook and dining wagon so the crew lived with the
thrashing machine. They usually slept on their own bedding, spread
out on straw from the straw stack.

The terrain was very hilly so four horses were used to pull the
water wagons. There were two water wagons so one could be filled,
while the other one was supplying the engine. When a good supply of
water was at the engine, the water hauler went back and got the
cook and dining wagon. Courtesy of John C. Setlow, 593 S.
Paddock Street, Pontiac,Michigan 48053.

Fifteen steam traction engines and as many gas tractors were on
hand to go through their paces, and Dean Redd showed his Galion
Roller and Keystone Well Driller, after an absence of a few years.
The 110 Case was among the group and made several appearances on
the fan. Tom Hatcher and Sons, Tommy and Glenn always please the
crowd when they show those beautiful scale models of the 65 Case
engine. And Russell Gay was on hand with his model traction

We are indebted to Mr. John Hunter and Rambo Brothers, who
furnished the oats and wheat for the threshing. J. L. Cotter had
his interesting display of several stationary steam engines in
operation and the number of gas engines increases with each

Everything continues to build up to a highly entertaining and
educational show, and the favorable reception by the public has
again assured the officers that there must be another exhibition in
1973. Accordingly, plans are already well under way for a similar

Officers of the Association are: Lester Lee, President; Willis
Abel, Vice-President; Evelyn Crow, Treasurer; Paul Crow, Secretary.
Directors are: David McDonald, Glenn Fullerton, John Sell, Paul
Kabo, Tom Weaver, Craig Kern, William Mungai, Clark Colby and
Charles Seeley.

Nello Mungai is the Manager and announcer of the show.

  • Published on Mar 1, 1973
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