Saginaw Valley Live Steam Association Convention Report

| November/December 1956

The first annual convention of The Saginaw Valley Live Steam Association was a huge success. The estimated attendance was 1500. This may not sound like a very large crowd to some of the older clubs, but considering this was the first convention ever held in this part of Michigan and the fact we had rain the day before, we think it was wonderful.

Saturday, July 21, was a rainy day in Flint and Montrose but all the people who did come out would sit in their cars during the rain and come right on out after the rain and want us to keep the steam up, which we did until dark. There were several highlights, one being Melvin Shetler's Stevens which the old timers said was something they hadn't seen in years and there are very few being shown at any convention. Howard Shaw as engineer and Carl Johnson as boss put on a wonderful show in the morning and again in the afternoon threshing wheat with Carl's Port Huron engine and separator. Then Gerald Payne and his Case was a show-stopper when his smooth running engine was put in motion. Orville Estes' steam boat was not put in the water because of soft banks, but Orville fired her up and kept the prop running all day and sure drew his share of the crowd.

In the Locomotive Department Seeley Randall's 1 was about the busiest railroad in operation on that date. There was about 500 feet of track laid and on each trip he carried a full pay load. Harold Pettit's 'O' gauge locomotive and mixed train always draws crowds. The steam pop corn machine could hardly keep up with the orders for pop corn. Wesley Trathen owns this popper but it was overhauled by Ed. Penrod for this convention. Mrs. Trathen and Mrs. Donald Massey operated the machine.