THE 11th ANNUAL REUNION of the 'Old Time Threshers and Saw Mill Operators' Show held Aug. 17, 18, 19, & 20, 1961
This year, as everyone had hoped for, The Old Time Thresher show had four perfect days. Each day was clear and sunny with the exception of late Saturday evening when there was a short 'pickle shower,' which barely settled the dust. There were however, very heavy rains all around the area of the show grounds. Fortunately, the show grounds were spared.
For the visiting public, the 'Old Time Threshers' had many new and different attractions for their enjoyment. In addition to the many for which the show is well known, there were added to this year's show a shingle mill, veneer mill, Hurdy-Gurdy organ etc.
One attraction of special delight for the visitor were two parachute drops made directly over the show grounds by Mr. Brad Parlin of the Cole Bros. air circus. Mr. Parlin made his jumps from an altitude of about six thousand feet and each one was perfectly performed. In each of his performances, he fell free for a couple of hundred feet before opening his parachute, much to the delight of the large crowd.
Once again the 'Old Time Thresher Show' was co-sponsored by Westinghouse radio station WOWO Ft. Wayne, Indiana, and its farm service director Jay Gould. Mr. Gould is known by millions of listeners in the Tri-State area, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio, for his 'Little Red Bam and Dinner on the Farm' programs. On Saturday, Mr. Gould brought a surprise visitor to the show. He introduced 'Charley The Weatherman', who gave an interesting talk on the ways in which weather data is gathered and forecasted. The show this year, in addition to being co-sponsored by radio station WOWO, was covered by interviewers and photographers from two Ft. Wayne television stations.
Gas engine row, gasoline alley or put-put corner, call it what you will, we had them. From 1? H. P. to 25 H. P. in single cylinder models and up to 30-60 H. P. in large four cylinder gas tractors. Half of one side and one end of the show grounds was necessary for all of these engines and tractors to be displayed. Each and everyone were in actual operating condition and wonderfully restored by the owners. One young man in particular trucked his 10-20 Titan from Erie, Pennsylvania to Ft. Wayne, Indiana, in order to attend the show and display his very fine tractor.
For the steam engine admirer and fan there was the threshing of wheat and oats, plowing with the eight bottom prairie plows brought in from North Dakota, sawing of lumber with the large sawmill, operating four Baker fans at one time and furnishing steam for the flour mill.
Every visitor to the show enjoyed the hill-climbing act performed by Harry Woodmansee and the balancing of a large steam engine on the teeter-totter by Melvin Lugten. One very interesting act of the show was the tug-of-war between a steam engine and the big 30-60 Aultman-Taylor gas tractor. It was indeed a sight to see, these two, giants in their own right, holding and pulling the other. One man brought in a flour mill, powered by steam, and milled whole wheat flour so that once again people could enjoy those home-baked whole wheat products.
On Sunday morning, as is done every year, church services were held in the WOWO hospitality tent. The singing of hymns and a special message given by Mr. Robert Price of Logansport, Ind. His subject, ' The Power by Which We Live', began in the early biblical days and ended with the Scriptures. Mr. and Mrs. Jay Gould are to be thanked for the loan of their Lowery organ which furnished the beautiful music.
The wiring system on the show grounds was completely re-wired and more floodlights were installed so that a program of events could be held each evening of the show. This was for the benefit of the late comer and the factory worker who couldn't attend during the day.
For each evening's program the different events scheduled were: sawing with steam power on the big mill, the making of shingles with the shingle mill, threshing and baling with the model thresher and baler built by Fermen Bloom, balancing of an engine on the teeter-totter and operation of the Baker fans, etc. As soon as it became dark enough, movies brought down from Wisconsin by Mr. John Achey, were shown in the big tent. The night's entertainment was completed by a square dance.
Everyone concerned is to be thanked for their very hard work that has to be done before, during and after the show.