452 County Road 33, Bluff ton, Ohio 45817
Once more the sounds of days gone by echoed through the Old Mill Stream Fairgrounds in Findlay, Ohio, for four days July 31 through August 3, 1997. The sounds of saw-milling, tractor pulls, threshing, and hit and miss engines were everywhere. We had the type of weather for the week that could only have been special-ordered.
There were ten steamers on display, with each taking its turn at the sawmill, thresher, and Baker fan. The smell and sounds of the steamers hinted at the memories of work and power and a bygone way of life that unfortunately, we cannot all experience. The wail of the whistles were a reminder that we shouldn't underestimate abilities of these engines to work, if they were to be once more called upon to pull the load, or work the fields, and retake their place as the king of power in the fields of America.
There were 360 gas tractors of a wide variety of brands, with an emphasis on Ohio built equipment. The tractors put on a fine show, working under the load of the pulling sled, the shingle and sawmill. The parade of equipment on Saturday gave all the tractors and steamers the chance to show off their colors.
Some folks and their tractors entertained spectators with a tractor square dance. It's called just like any square dance, only the tractors were the focus of attention. What a sight, seeing the tractors move in unison to the direction of the caller. It's also a testimonial to the folks who are behind the wheel, and their abilities to maneuver the machines.
The engine area was just bulging at the seams with over 545 engines on display shelling and grinding corn, pumping water, crushing pop cans. This year's feature engine was Briggs & Stratton with many rare and unusual models on display. One trailer alone held 35 engines. With new quartz halogen lights, the engine area was lit up like day and spectators stayed to visit and admire the iron art of the past, long after dark had settled on other areas of the show. There were many unusual items to be found for sale in the exhibit area. It's fun to bring along a little something to sell from your display area, or to take to the Trading Post and consign it.
And, the ladies were not forgotten either, with one large building dedicated to the display, demonstration, and sales of all kinds of crafts. Classes were even going on for those who wanted to try their hand at making anything that caught their interest. There was a quilt and other items raffled off, too. And then outside, there were the largest number of flea markets in the Hancock County area. Everything from tools and jewelry to music and antiques were being offered for sale. You could spend a day on just the markets.
The Van Buren FFA put on a toy show and sale with every kind of toy tractor and piece of equipment offered for sale or viewing. The toys make a wonderful item to use in the house or shop, to bring color into and liven up your life. Thanks for the wonderful addition to our show, guys!
And talk about food! There was so much to sample it wasn't possible to try it all in the four days of the show. Everything from cotton candy to lemonade and homemade ice cream made in the old style churns driven by gas engines. Full breakfasts and meals were also being served. All the fair-type foods were available, as well all four days of the show. There was musical entertainment, Country and Western, Gospel and a variety. For the youngsters, kiddie pulls and kiddie trains kept them out of trouble. And, if you didn't want to walk all the way from one side of the park to the other, the shuttles were on the go being pulled by antique tractors and teams of horses.
Next year's show feature will be Massey-Harris tractors and engines and all related equipment. Mark your Show Directory, and plan to attend. The 1998 show date is July 30-31 and August 1-2.
All those who are involved in the organization and operation of the show wish to thank everyone who makes this event possible. Without everyone's cooperation, hard work and dedication to the hobby, we couldn't have the fun we all enjoy.