Are You a Steam Engine Man

| September/October 1978

Arcola, Illinois

It was one of our first visits as a family to Pontiac and our children had heard much talk about steam engines and the upcoming show at Pontiac which we were going to attend....that was ten years ago and my daughter Pam was only three years old as she sat next to an elderly man on a tree stump between two steam engines at Pontiac and asked: 'Are you a Steam Engine Man?' I remember he said 'Yes but I don't have an engine any more so I came to remember, to smell the smoke and talk about steam.' We have attended every year since and the Pontiac show seems to get better every year.

This year was no exception good weather for most of the five days allowed a lot of activity including a daily parade. Some new faces (and engines) attended the show this year Russell and Wanda Helm and son, John, of Murdock, Illinois, and their 16 HP Reeves, Don and Mary Werth of Lincoln, Illinois, brought a 21-75 Baker which they have restored beautifully, and Don and Eunice Raube had a fresh coat of paint on their Avery tractor and it looks like a new one. Another new addition to the show this year was a well-constructed sawmill. Sylvester Fosdick and Roger Wessels of  Fairbury, Illinois worked hard to set up the mill in time for the show and the crowd certainly enjoyed the operating mill.

William (Maj.) and Marie Bragg of Atwood, Illinois, were crowned King and Queen of the show by Herb Beckemeyer, President. Maj. and Marie have been married 60 years and have missed only two of the 29 Reunions at Pontiac. For the past 15 years Maj. has shown his 1917 Heider tractor (usually running a shingle mill). You would never know that Maj. is 81 and Marie is 80. Staying active seems to be the key to life as well as for a good steam show and the Braggs were zipping around the show grounds in a little electric car like two teenagers.

Whether you are a 'steam engine man' (or woman) or favor gas tractors, motors or other unique pieces of farm equipment, you are sure to enjoy the Pontiac Show always in September on Labor Day weekend.