The Tuscarawas Valley Pioneer Association held its 17th annual show on the Tuscarawas County Fairgrounds, Dover, Ohio, August 15, 16, 17, 1980. The field operations included 18 steam traction engines; 3 portable steam engines with boilers; 72 gasoline and oil burning tractors; 170 stationary gasoline engines, 1/2 to 8 HP; 5 stationary steam engines, 3 to 50 HP; 2 threshing machines; 1 baler; 2 ensilage cutters; 2 grist mills; shingle mill; 54-inch sawmill; horse-drawn water tank wagon; tractor drawn water tanks; tractor drawn fuel supply trailers; 2 buzz saws for cutting engine fuel; D.C. generator and three fans for belt loads; dog powered churn; and the air operated calliope.
Seven scale model steam tractors, 3 portables, and 1 road roller were in operation along with a 12-inch sawmill and a 7 x 8 x 15-inch baler. Two model railroads were a part of the display. Forty-six steam, gas, and hot air engines were working on the benches; also displayed were original and reproduction toy steam engines.
The sales people displayed a variety of arts and crafts, and offered for sale a wide range of merchandise, antique and modern: tools, iron ware, glass, leather goods, machinery parts, jewelry, and power association plates and cups. The food and drink concessions kept the visitors well supplied.
The engine pulls, slow races, and block races staged on Friday and Saturday nights were for entertainment and not for official results. The gas tractors were judged in three classes according to the percent of tractor weight pulled. Under 3500 pounds, Calvin Lillie, 1948 Ford N 121.5%. 3500 to 4500 pounds, Gordon Brothers, 1930 Fordson (Ireland) 134.4%. Over 4500 pounds, John Griffith, 1928 Minneapolis 27-42 174.8%. The weights of the steam tractors were not known, the basis of judging was weight pulled. Clyde Whitmore's 21 HP Baker and Richard Dute's 20 HP Frick tied with 20,000 pounds pulled.
The slow engine races were run with 2 or 3 engines in each race; Elmer Wenger beat Howard Calame; Richard Dute defeated Laurel Runnals; John McDowell won over Jerry Ludwick and Cliff Johnson; Richard Dute won the final contest against Elmer Wenger and John McDowell. Four of the six contestants successfully completed the block race: Howard Calame, 27 seconds; Rev. Lautzenheiser, 36 seconds; Elmer Wenger, 38 seconds, Richard Dute, 50 seconds.
The old time fiddler's contest provided the Saturday evening entertainment after 8:00 P.M.
The Sunday activities began with church service at 9:00 A.M., and continued with the working field exhibits and all other displays. The massed steam whistles were sounded at noon. The Strasburg Tigers Marching Band performed at 3:00 P.M., followed by the parade of 33 antique cars, the steam engines, and the gas tractors.
Herb Smith was named 'Thresherman of the Year' and Dorris Smith was crowned 'Queen of the Show.' Mrs. Bernice Stansberry was awarded a life-time membership in the Association. Her late husband, Frank, and four members of the family joined the Association as charter members. Verle Baker and Bob Scheetz conducted the program and kept the public address system alive with their comments and information about the various activities.
The attendance this year was 4700. The rain on Friday morning and again on Sunday afternoon resulted in lower number of visitors when compared with previous years. The rain on Sunday afternoon did not stop the scheduled activities. The Association officers extend their thanks to the Women's Auxiliary and to everyone who had to work under the bad weather conditions, to the exhibitors and sales people, and to the visitors who did not let the rain keep them away from a good show.
The dates for the 1981 show are August 21, 22, and 23.