233 County House Road, Clarksboro, New Jersey 08020
One thing will go down in history, and that is the reunion being the hottest one yet. The weather did not deter the folks who came for we were blessed with many visitors and exhibitors. The official opening stated 10 a.m. but folks were there before that. Machinery was put in operation each day by 10:30 a.m. and by noon whistle our grounds were full. Most people were from the surrounding states but it is amazing how many travel great distances. I talked to one man from Canada.
The emphasis this year was on the John Deere line and according to the announcer, only one model was missing from the gathering. The very latest stood there with its 8 huge rubber wheels, air conditioned cab and all the comforts of home. Quite different from riding an old G.P. with an icy north wind blowing down your neck. Though I never drove a G.P. in such conditions, I did a 10-20 pulling a 2 furrow plough and also a German Bulldog Lanz. These were single cylinder, diesel, with a hot bulb and 2 encased flywheels on either side. To start, one put the blow torch under the front, pulled off the steering wheel and stuck it in the end of the crankshaft. Anyone ever heard of these machines? Perhaps one of our Canadian friends might have, but I'm getting away from my subject.
A nice remodelling job has been carried out at the front of the main steam building. Were I asked to name it, I would call it the 'Culinary Museum', for it contains exhibits of all Grandma and Great Grandma's household machinery. This is something for the ladies, for exhibited are wood burning kitchen ranges, hand draulic washers, old flat irons and many relics of their hard working life. To fire one of those cooking stoves must have been an art in itself and they never had a fireman's license.
The rear of this same steam building and its new extension have also entailed much work, and bases have been poured for engines that have just lain around. In time they will also look like the big Watts and Campbell, but they will need much scraping and scrubbing, and finally a coat of paint. The giant Snow pumping engine will in time, also get completed, but it takes time. During this last 24 years I have seen R. & T. grow from a tin shed on a field to what it is today and it gives me a great feeling each time I drive through the gate.
Another project we have going is the restoration of our founder's Avery traction engine. From what I can gather, not much short of a new boiler will be needed and this no doubt will cost several dollars. We have going 'The Arthur S. Young Restoration Fund' with hopes that the organization can gather enough in donations for this cause. During the reunion I exhibited my 1 scale 4-6-2 Flying Scotsman and her 2 coaches alongside the old Avery to attract attention. Unfortunately the picture I took was not of printable quality.
Two band organs were exhibited again this year and they were Mr. Burr's Wurlitzer and Mr. Markey's Bruder. I would guess the Bruder to be of perhaps 65 keys though its. quite a large organ. It plays very well and many people enjoyed its music. To set the machine off, Mr. Markey has it mounted on the bed of a very early vintage articulated Auto-car truck. This in itself is unique without the organ. Dear Mrs. Mills was playing the Getz steam calliope and also the bell instrument, well, that's what I call it, tho' I'm sure it has a more professional name!
Little Toot was running well and stopped but little. One passenger car did develop an undercarriage problem so the one car was continually full. I said in my 1982 report that Toot should have a caboose, so I built one and it kind of finishes off the train and makes it look much more complete. The boys did, however, have to put an old tractor weight inside it for it was rather on the light side.
In the model building Bob Roberts and I had quite a carnival going on for Bob brought along his American 2 in. scale merry-go-round and ferris wheel. I had my English merry-go-round, also in 2 in. scale, and my Burrell showman's engine 'Excalibur'. There were many other nice models also exhibited and one was Dick McKee's 2 in. traction engine. Mr. Harold Clements takes charge of the proceedings in this division and he ensures you space and a steam connection if you need one. As of now, only metal tubing may be used to supply models, rubber tubing being no longer allowed. It's a good thing really for if a hose blows off, one could get hit in the eye.
On the Friday morning all the steam units were lined up in a semicircle and a panoramic picture was taken. On the Saturday morning the gas tractors did the same, and I must say these pictures are excellent. They are about 50 inches long and 10 inches wide, they have beautiful color and are extremely sharp. The photographer was a Mr. Chadwick from Buckeye, West Virginia. (No connection with his Co. folks.)
I would like to inform the Directors that giving the patrons a printed program along with their entrance ticket seemed very well received. While driving around on the roller I saw many folks consulting them as to the time of events and the locations of machinery. I think these people directors, I mean did a job well done and I'll just mention a few: Otis Astle was going here and there under his straw hat; Ray Herr left his shorts home, but Mr. Estleman didn't; Everet Young was the man in the green shirt and Paul Stoltzfus riding a bike when he has so many steam engines? Finally, Nevan, you got the information right on the roller. Just a little humor here chaps Toot Toot till next time.