Steam Traction Engine Shows at Joyland Park

The Joy of Steaming

| March/April 2004

One day in 1950 the late Lyman Knapp and I set out in a 1936 Chevrolet truck from Blackwell, Okla., bound for Utica, Neb., to load a 10 HP C. Aultman steam traction engine that Lyman had purchased at a farm sale.

On our return trip with the C. Aultman, we stopped along North Broadway in Wichita, Kan., to visit our mutual steam friend Kenny Reynolds who owned a 65 HP Case. Although Kenny was home, the Case wasn't, and Kenny told us he had sold the Case to brothers Harold and Herb Ottaway, who had moved the engine to Joyland Hillside Park, an amusement park the Ottaways' owned in south Wichita.

Kenny called out to the park and told the Ottaways that two fellows from Oklahoma were at his machine shop with a steam engine on their truck. Kenny invited the Ottaways out to his shop, and some 30 minutes later Herb and Harold drove up in their pickup. This was the start of a friendship that lasted over 50 years.

Steaming at Joyland Park 

Lyman and I lived in rural Blackwell, Okla., and our farms were not over a quarter-mile apart. Not two weeks had passed since meeting Herb and Harold when they came down from Wichita to visit us in Oklahoma and see our engines. Herb and Harold had a great interest in steam, and they were interested in starting a steam show. That visit sparked the creation of the Antique Engine and Threshers Association at Joyland Park in Wichita.

An ad for 1952 Joyland Park show from the July/August 1952 Iron-Men Album. The big news for 1952 was the show's re-enactment of the famous Case incline.