P.O. Box 382 St. Clairsville, Ohio 43950
Smoke billowed from the stacks of nine steam engines as the sun rose from behind the hills. The smell of breakfast was in the air as many workers gathered at the New Athens Fire Department meal stand for breakfast. It appeared the 1992 Stumptown Steam Threshers 30th annual Show and Reunion was preparing to get underway. By 8:00 A.M. on Saturday, September 12, a line of vehicles transporting gas engines, tractors, and other equipment was trailing through the gate. The parking lot was beginning to fill with cars. The flea market vendors were preparing their items for sale.
At 9:30 A.M. the show officially opened. Under a sunny and clear sky the opening prayer was given by Lester Nabb, and the Cadiz Boy Scouts displayed the Stars and Stripes. By 9:45 everyone was ready to go. A traction engine had been belted up to the sawmill, and the shingle bolts were being cut. Many single cylinder gas engines could be heard popping and putting. Richard Carnes' Band Wagon played many melodious tunes as the morning moved on. After the shingle bolts were ready, Richard Firth began to cut shingles which were given to spectators as souvenirs. Henry Shores kept Doc Saffell's corn sheller and Fred Rogers' burr mill in motion as corn meal was ground and bagged with the help of Harmon Harris.
Throughout the morning many traction engines, gas tractors, and lawn tractors could be seen riding around the grounds as the spectators steadily flowed through the gate. The Ladies Auxiliary had many items for sale, as well as tickets for the quilt drawing.
At 12 noon the officers and directors gathered on the stage to dedicate the noon whistle blow to William Flowers, in honor of his retirement from 18 years of service as club secretary. After the whistle blow everyone took a break for lunch. The New Athens Fire Department had been cooking soup beans over an open fire during the morning, which were served with homemade corn bread. Many other delicious items were offered by the Fire Department and the Weirton Lions Club. For dessert, many folks stopped by for some ice cream at Bibbee's ice cream stand.
At 12:45 the royalties were crowned for this year's show, by the Ladies Auxiliary. Vivian Culler was crowned Queen and Glenn Kroft was named Thresherman of the Year. Following the ceremonies, the couple took the traditional ride around the grounds in Ralph Jones' Model T truck, which was driven this year by the queen, Vivian Culler, under the supervision of Ralph Jones.
At 1:00 all activities were ready to get back in to full swing. A slow engine race was staged, with Doug Scheetz of Massillon, Ohio, being able to crawl to the finish line last, on Joe Harrison's 20 HP Russell to win the full scale class. Russ Dye managed to maintain his slow motion on the Arnold family scale Case to win the scaled-down class. Chris Weikart of Leetonia, Ohio, on her Port Huron, managed to outlast Gayle Jackowski of Flushing, Ohio, on her Peerless, to win the 'powder-puff' slow engine race. Bill Applegarth of New Athens, Ohio, won the slow tractor race on William Flowers' John Deere L. John McDowell of Plain-field, Ohio, showed the crowd his skills as he maneuvered his Baker to win the block race.
After the races the crowd moved across the grounds to watch the demonstration of threshing of grain and baling of straw, with the equipment being belted up to steam traction engines and antique gas tractors. Some spectators also found their way to the sawmill and watched as Jared Crowe and Carl Jackowski were sawing many logs.
Also to be viewed were many gas engines hooked up to such items as water pumps and washing machines.
By 3:30 the Tri-Valley Young Farmers & Wives of Dresden, Ohio, had the kiddie pedal tractor pull platform set up and ready to go. After the children were weighed in, they participated in four classes. Winners were: Stevie Banannio of Mt. Pleasant; Justin Vosick of Tippecanoe; Matt Hughes of Barnesville; and Matthew Modra of Shadyside. After the pedal pull, many folks stopped by Wodarcyk's concession for a snow cone or cotton candy and the Jewett Ruritan Lemon Shake concession. The gas engines and tractors had continued to flow in through the gate all day long.
By 6:00 the day's busy activities had slowed down. The Ohio Valley Promenaders were ready to display their skills of square dancing, with Ron Anderson doing the calling. A few spectators in the audience had a chance to try their turn at square dancing.
At 7:30 the fiddlers and accompanists had gotten tuned up and ready for the old time fiddler's contest. Chuck Monticello of Beallsville, Ohio, won the age 20-59 class, and Carl Sampson of Moundsville, West Virginia, prevailed in the 60 and over class. By the end of the fiddler's contest most folks were ready to call it the end of a busy day.
On Sunday morning, September 13th, the festivities once again were being prepared. A church service was held at 9:00 with Marion Rodgers of Freeport, Ohio, delivering the morning message. By 9:45 the activities were into full swing. Traction engines were testing their power against John McDowell's Power Eater generator. The saw dust was once again flying at the sawmill, the corn meal bags were being filled again, and the shavings were getting deeper at the shingle mill. Mickey MacDonald's voice could be heard across the public address system as he served as master of ceremonies for the show once again, announcing the activities as they progressed.
Lunch time was signalled by the noon whistle blow. Everyone gathered around the food stands to enjoy lunch.
At 1:00 the wagon backing contest was set up. Many tractor operators tested their skills at backing the four-wheel farm wagon behind antique gas tractors. Ralph Bartlett of Cardington showed the non-previous winners class how it is done with his F-12 Farmall, and Bob Murphy of Flushing topped the previous winners class on a Farmall Super C. Following the wagon backing contest, a hand crank start contest was held for antique gas tractors. Greg Fritter of Piedmont was able to win on his high geared Allis Chalmers C.
Throughout the afternoon the remainder of the grain was threshed and the remaining straw was baled. The final logs were being cut at the saw mill. At 2:30, the Ladies Auxiliary held the drawing for their quilt. The winner was Connie Hammon of Valley City. Henry Niemiec of St. Clairsville won a set of pillowcases.
The oldest man attending the show was acknowledged as David Meredith of Freeport, at 91 years young, and the oldest lady was Emma Holmes of Moundsville, West Virginia, who was also 91 years young.
The Stumptown Jr. Club also held a drawing to give away toy steam engines, toy tractors, and tools. Membership drawings went to Mickey MacDonald and David Bard-well. Following the drawings, the children were treated to a coin hunt in the shingle mill shavings. $10.00 in quarters were to be found.
By 4:00 the activities and duties had all been finished for the year. All equipment and tractors and steam engines were lined up for. the grand parade. The parade was led by the Queen and Thresherman of the Year in Ralph Jones' truck, followed by antique cars and trucks, steam traction engines and portable boilers, and threshing and baling equipment and many antique gas tractors.
This year's show boasted displays of seven steam traction engines, two portable boilers, 84 antique gas tractors, 620 single cylinder gas engines, a cast iron seat display, a milk can display, a toy tractor and antique tool and equipment display by the Stump-town Jr. Club, other toy tractor displays, and several antique cars.
Attendants and exhibitors came from 13 states and from 44 counties within the state of Ohio. Members live as far away as Texas and Florida.
The officers and directors would like to thank everyone who attended and participated for making the show a great success, and would like to invite everyone to return on September 11 and 12 in 1993 for the 31st annual reunion. See you there!