1844 Gaylord Drive, Akron, Ohio 44320
The Tuscarawas Valley Pioneer Association, Inc. held its 16th annual show and reunion at the Tuscarawas County Fairgrounds at Dover, Ohio on August 17,18, and 19,1979. Despite heavy rains early Saturday morning and lighter showers on Sunday at the end of the church services, the spirits of the attending public were not dampened. The total count of people through the gate for three days was 7,000, and no one seemed to mind the mud too much.
The show opened on Friday with 21 traction engines; 3 portable engines; 5 scale engines (from which 1 inch to the foot to a half scale); 8 stationary steam engines (3 to 50 HP); 24 running steam models on the steam tables plus one gasoline model; 4 steam locomotives under construction; a 1 inch to 1 foot steam locomotive and cars. A 12 inch sawmill was operated by a model portable steam engine. Also in the infield with the big power were 2 very old threshing machines which threshed wheat on Saturday and Sunday and a portable hay baler that baled the straw as soon as it came out of the separators.
A 54 inch sawmill was busy all three days. A 40 inch combination shingle and sawmill, a shingle mill, an ensilage cutter, 3 Baker fans, a D.C. generator for engine loads, a shrouded fan, a horse-drawn wagon, 4 tractor drawn water wagons, and 3 buzz saws cutting slabs for engine fuel rounded out the infield equipment.
In the other areas two grist mills were busy grinding corn, wheat and buckwheat which sold very well. A steam and an air calliope furnished music throughout the show. Sixty-three gasoline and kerosene burning tractors added their color to the show and were belted up to most of the equipment. In the gas engine area there were 141 entries from ? to 50 HP. A large flea market had about anything you could want, while the arts and crafts building was full of beautiful exhibits. The women's auxiliary sold food and the clubs' cups and plates.
Friday evening we had a slow engine and block race and also an obstacle race for the rubber-tired tractors. At 8:00 P.M. we had our first antique tractor pull for entertainment only and it was a huge success. After the tractors were through five traction engines tried their hand and under the dark skies and overhead lighting made a sight to remember. A wet track forced cancellation of the Saturday evening parade of engines and tractors. At 8:00 P.M. there was an old time fiddlers contest which kept things hopping until 11:00 P.M.
The Sunday activities began with worship services at 9:00 A.M. in the grandstands with about 150 in attendance. At 9:45 A.M. the other activities started for the day with massed whistles. At noon there was dinner at the many concessions. At 3:15, we had the flag raising with the national anthem played by a calliope, also a cannon salute from a 3 inch cannon whose owner also had a Gattling gun on display. At 3:30 the antique car parade began with 40 entries, the oldest being a 1908 EMF touring car.
Following the cars the traction engines, tractors and other equipment were paraded to end the show for this year.
Other notes of interest were the naming of the 'Thresherman of the Year.' This year it was Floyd White our chaplin and his wife, Mary, the chaplin of the women's auxiliary was crowned 'Queen of the 1979 Show.' Allen Baker, age 88, was in charge of the steam model tables. Lewis Dittoe, age 87, operated a 14 HP engine and Herb Holmes, age 81, operated a 12 HP Peerless engine. Our able Masters of Ceremonies were Verle Baker and Bob Scheetz. The thanks of the officers and members go out to all who had any part in making this the smooth running and successful show that it was. We hope that the visitors enjoyed the show and will return next year. It is your attendance that makes these events possible.
The 1980 show dates are August 15, 16, and 17.