Mrs. Lester Lindenmeier operating her 16 HP Port Huron on the sawmill. In the background is the partially completed storage building. Freeport Show 1973. Courtesy of Michael Althoff, 328 W. Chestnut Street, Freeport, Illinois 61032
1973 was a very busy year for the Stephenson County Antique Engine Club. A lease was signed with the Fairboard which allowed for the construction of buildings and permanent displays. So, an open-sided building was built to protect the sawmill from the elements and provide shade for the workers during the show. Also, a 60' x 80' storage building was completed right after show time. This building will be used to store club owned equipment, equipment owned by members for which they do not have room, and for the placement of permanent displays. One permanent display was completed just two days before the show. It is a 60 HP Fairbanks-Morse 1 cylinder diesel engine. It has a 14' bore and 17'stroke, a 7' diameter flywheel, and weighs 12 tons. It had been dismantled and laying outside for several years before the club purchased it, so it was quite a job to get it running again. But it ran beautifully for three days at the show, once again under cover in the new building.
Our show was 3 days this year for the first time. The highlight of Friday's show was an antique tractor pull with over 20 tractors, ranging from an F-12 Farmall to a 30-60 Oil Pull participating. Four steamers also took a turn at pulling the boat.
Our show has so much going on at once that some visitors complain that they just can't see it all in a day. Our activities run simultaneously throughout the day. Starting at 9 a.m. there are steamers and tractors on the Baker Fan, sawmill in operation along with a barrel stave mill, a shingle mill and a buzz saw. There is threshing with steam and gas, baling with a hand tie baler, shredding, corn shelling, rock crushing, grinding flour and horses powering a wooden elevator. The big commercial building is full of many displays of interest to the ladies, such as old greeting cards, dolls, toys, coffee grinders, household tools and appliances. A new attraction this year was a complete old farm kitchen with all the furniture, even a working pitcher pump and an old telephone which rang the old party line rings. Beside the kitchen was a replica of an old living room full of priceless antique furniture. There was also an old wash house. Also in the building were displays of license plates, blacksmith tools, coins, eyeglasses, and small steam models.
The steamers on display this year were a 20 HP Reeves, 16 HP Port Huron, 24 HP Minneapolis, 18 HP Advance-Rumely, 40 and 50 HP Case, and a 25 HP Russell. There were over 50 tractors including some real rare ones and some real big ones 40-80 Avery, 30-60 Aultman Taylor, 30-60 and 15-30 one cylinder Oil Pulls, 12-24 and 20-40 two cylinder Case, 30-60 Keck Gonnerman, 20-42 Nichols and Shepard, 18-36 Pioneer, Rumely Du-All, and 28-50 Hart-Parr. Gasoline alley was full this year with over 100 gas engines.
Also on display were many beautiful teams of horses pulling wagons and other equipment. There was even an 8 horse hitch and show wagon which performed in front of the grandstand during the parade. There was also a nice selection of antique cars over 20 in all.
As I have said before, the theme of our show is activity and diversity. So, if you want to see a lot going on and a good variety to keep the whole family interested, come to our show July 26, 27 and 28 1974 and see why it is one of the fastest growing shows in the country.