THE CONVENTION WAS held July 27 and 28, 1957 at Montrose,
Michigan on the Gerald Payne farm, and was a huge success with
between seven and eight thousand visiting us in the two days.
Several of our good friends from Canada visited us and we were very
glad to see and talk to them.
Instead of a program, we saw to it that something was going on
all the time. The thing that helped this along was our very large
variety of steam and except for the Baker Steam Tractor and
Caliope, every entry at the convention, belonged to one of our
We had several show-stoppers One was the quarter-size Case that
belongs to Gordon Smoke. Gordon would hook up to the Baker fan or
the small sawmill and although it wouldn’t handle it like the
big ones, it sure gave them both a good workout.
Carl Johnson with his 19 hp. Port Huron and separator, as
always, put on a first class show. Orville Estes and his boat was
busy all of both days as was Philip Arnold and his Stanley
Harry Forshee (with his handle-bar moustache) and his 20 hp.
Advance. Floyd Coats and his Baker, Gerald Payne and his 50 Case,
kept the crowd busy both days looking at them on the saws and
Fred Stuck and his 50 Case with the Wabash L whistle really made
himself heard. Howard Shaw spent two weeks getting Marvin
Shetler’s Stevens in shape and it looked like a brand new
engine. Howard really made the old boy do its stuff.
Another show-stepper and a favorite with the younger set was
Harold Reamer’s half-size Case. The Murphy Bros. and their
Baker steam tractor was something everyone stopped to look
Besides this array of traction engines, we gave most everyone a
ride on one of the two trains. Seeley Randall’s 7′ gauge
and Arville Anderson’s 15′ gauge locomotive did a land
office business and attracted more than their share of the
It took four good people, Wesley Trathen and wife and Donald
Massay and wife, to operate the steam pop corn machine, but really
did a fine job.
Then we had models by the hundreds. Morris Grenshaw and his
1′ scale Case; Chas. Mott and his 4′ gauge 4-8-4 N.Y.C.
Loco; and the other boys and their stationary engines, all shapes
We had lots of comments about our not having a program, but the
majority praised our idea of not having a program but instead
having something going on all the time. No engines were allowed to
bunch up. Models were set up all over the field. The trains were
set up away from the traction engines. The eating tent was set up
in one corner of the field. It kept the crowd scattered and
everyone had a chance to look everything over, and when you have
7,000 people, you do have a crowd.
A ‘Headquarters and Information’ tent was set up close
to the entrance from where all activity was directed and complaints
listened to. All in all, it was a great convention and we have
already started plans for our third Annual Convention in 1958.