1121, Hilltop Lane, Modesto, Calif.
Saturday, August 17th, more engines began to arrive for the show. Willis Smith and his 2 sons of Springfield, brought in their fine 1885 15 Westinghouse, one of the very few ones in the entire country; Guy Kyler, of Albany, rolled in his scale model of a Westinghouse on a trailer and other equipment was already on hand or came Sunday, including an old French stone burr mill, over 100 years old and owned by a Mr. Cole of Sublimity, Oregon. More wood was sawed up and I helped E. T. Currans, of Fresno, Calif., finish putting on the top of the big 30-60 Rumely Oil Pull which was finished up in the shop last winter on restoration and painting. Later on, we started it up and played with it-but takes nearly 2 men and a boy to lean on the huge flywheel of this monster to turn it over. Ed is an expert on these and other old gas tractors from years back and with his delicate touch on the carburetor, it soon ran like a fine watch. It seems that the Oil Pull is sensitive to a slight carburetor adjustment. In the evening, a dinner was served in Legion hall in Silverton by the Ladies of the local Grange after which the annual business meeting was called to order and all such business transacted as came before it. Wally Getman was re-elected president and all other officers and directors of the various states re-elected. Mike Duncan is our new secretary-treasurer, replacing the late W. O. Druffel. A program followed for the balance of the evening.
Sunday, the day started out with all engines being fired up-there were 6 Russells, 3 Case, 1 Nichols-Shepard, 2 Advance, 1 Westinghouse and 1 model engine present and under steam. Most of the regulars were in attendance-Roy Heinrich, Bill Hermans, The Pitts Brothers on the Nichols-Shepard, Jeff Richardson and many' others. Wm. B. Edmondson, of Butte Falls was also in attendance, as was Mr. Humann and his son, Paul. Also saw Ralph Koon there too. Frank Ott, of Clackamas, brought in his 8-16 IHC Mogul single cylinder tractor- it runs like a clock, but didn't get a good picture, as it left early in the day. In the forenoon, Bill Hermans started threshing at one of the stacks with the 12-36 Russell and 22 x 38 McCormick Deering separator. Hilman Lovelien, tending machine for him. By noon, all the engines were hot, and shutterbugs all over the place. The whistles sounded, and lunch was served from the hamburger stand, supervised by Mrs. Mikkelson and qualified staff. At 1 p.m. whistles were again sounded and the parade formed and passed by the sound truck, where MC Paul Almquist, an old mate of Harvey's gave the name of the machine and a brief history of it, plus the names of the crew and their homes. Threshing and trying out their pulling ability on the big fan again commenced after the parade, and it was starting to cloud up-rain looked promising Ed Curran put the 30-60 in the belt on the fan, but the cooling pump soon developed a noise, so it shut down. Earlier, after the tractor had been run for a while, it balked at starting again, so Carl's Holt 45 was brought over, and we belted it up to the Rumely; it started without any more argument. It was again cranked this way when run in the shed later in the afternoon. Most of the grain was in stacks, but shocks were still in the field, so Harvey's uncle with his fine team of horses and their fancy harnesses, pulling the hay rack hauled them in, assisted by various volunteer bundle pitchers. I assisted Ed Curran with the Oil Pull, then, wherever I could help out. Tom Graves of Tigard, Ore., set up with his 8 hp Rumely-Olds gas engine and a rare one-a De Laval 11/2 hp engine; both run like clocks. Carl Kirsch belted up to the 21 inch Sterling machine and threshed some, then the 8hp Russell was put on for further demonstration. About 3:00 o'clock, a rousing shower came up and stopped activity for about half an hour. Then the wind came up, the sun came out and again the exhaust of the steam engine and the hum of the separators was heard. The 16 Tandem Russell was belted up to the French burr mill and wheat ground into flour for everyone to see. Roy Heinrich coupled up the 50 Case to the 22 x 36 Red-River machine and pulled out and set up at one of the stacks and threshed for a while, and Carl Kirsch hauled in the last of the bundles with his Holt then belted up to the Red River Special and finished that part of the threshing. Outside of a plugged blower pipe and a broken belt on one of the machines, everything worked smoothly, as it usually does at Harvey's. About 5:30 all the grain was threshed, the belts thrown and rolled up and the engines and separators headed for their stalls in the machine sheds. By 6:30 or later, everything was put away for another year and we discussed steam for awhile. We all are looking forward to another large show next year. I left for home that night on the train.
Mr. Humann cut 12 acres of wheat and oats in the early part of June and stacked the bundles into 6 big stacks. My family and I went up to Gerber August 30th, to help get ready for this show, staying at Los Molinos, a short distance away. There were about 30 some entries of new and old tractors, machinery for the parade, besides the 5-7 hp Fairbanks-Morse gas engine, upright steam stationary engine and other machinery set up for the viewing. From the University of California at Davis, came our great agricultural historian, F. Hal Higgins, assisted by L. D. Graves of Fairfield, with the Standish gas engine, one of the first built in the U.S., a diesel engine and a 2-inch scale model live steam C. Aultman traction engine, horse-steered, plus a huge display of old threshing scenes and harvest times in California and other states in the west. They set up under the big walnut tree, and to further get into the spirit of old-time threshing, bedded down in the large barn with their sleeping bags while there. Over under another big tree, Glenn Weagent, assisted by his son and daughter-in-law and family, set up his steam electric generating plant on a trailer and was soon in action. Also brought along his little steam car, powered by a 1900 Locomobile steam car in beautiful condition-they also have 2 or 3 Stanley Steamers in running order. Saturday afternoon, Paul and I played around with the C. Aultman model engine and finally got it steamed up-it certainly would perform when the throttle was opened. My boys later on took over on it for the rest of the show. Previous to this, Godfrey had had a shake-down threshing in July to test the machine, on my birthday and we threshed some wheat and oats.
Sunday afternoon, a parade was held at 1:00 o'clock and a master of ceremonies described all machinery as it paused in front of his stand. The parade included an old 12-cross-frame 12-20 Case tractor and Model D John Deere tractor with spoke flywheel, brought in by Chico State College, an 18 - 32 cross-mounted Case tractor, 1926 Fordson tractor, which together with its driver, Mr. Maguire, stole the show both days and both days ran out of gas at the same point in the parade procession, a 1912 Yuba ball tread crawler tractor in fine condition and a 1929 John Deere GP standard tread tractor pulling an 8-foot John Deere grain binder. Also present was a horse-powered hay baler that lacked horses to operate it. There was also a California built version of a John Deere wheel tractor changed to a crawler type. The 28 x 46 Case machine was pulled between 2 stacks and Paul belted the Advance to it and started threshing. The local state senator pitched in the first bundle, it missed the feeder; however, on the other stack, an old experienced hand pitched another bundle and it hit the feeder center. Threshing commenced in earnest and the stacks went down fairly rapidly. Halfway, I changed off threshing with the Russell engine, belted up and finished them by 5:00 p.m. Then, we belted the Russell engine to a 6-inch ICH hammer mill and ground some barley-worked very well. Monday morning, the machine was set between 2 more stacks and the Russell did the honors in the belt, with plenty of volunteer bundle pitchers in both stacks. At noon both days, dinner was served by the 4-H chapters from close by. Sunday afternoon, the wind changed, so we had to set twice to thresh the 2 remaining stacks. Over under the tree, the John Deere Model D belted up to the hammer mill and finished grinding the barley. Paul and I changed off with the 2 engines - I ran the Advance, Monday, and threshed one of the remaining stacks. Then we belted up the Russell after setting for the last stack, and by this time, either the volunteer pitchers had left for home, or were pegged out. The weather was hot and clear both days and to one not used to the heat, it may have bothered them. So, the last stack went down rapidly with Godfrey, Oliver Wilson, Mr. Maguire and Godfrey's son-in-law pitching the last bundles and when we got through, there were some tired people and a lot of straw piled up. Godfrey tended his machine the whole time. He has done custom threshing years ago with his John Deere tractor and a 22 x 36 Case machine. Everything worked fine and went off as planned. A crowd of 1500 were present the first day and about 1,000 the second day. For the first large steam threshings show in California, it was a great success. Another is planned for next year and Godfrey has purchased a 20 double rear-mount Gaar-Scott steam engine and 6-30 Oil Pull tractor from Mr. Koon and Mr. James, respectively near Junction City, Oregon. Would like to mention also, that Oregon was well represented by Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Mikkelson and Mr. and Mrs. Hilman Lovelien, Oregon director and WSFA vice-president respectively, of Silver-ton. Mr. and Mrs. Arnett, of Klamath Falls also came down to see what went on. Harvey and Hilman just enjoyed taking pictures and watching to see how we did the work in California. Our wives had a nice visit, during the proceedings. My boys also pitched their share of bundles and worked the water wagon, too. This was a WSFA threshing bee and nearly all members doing work, plus friends.
October 5th, Loran M. Wade of Tracy held his 4th steam threshing so I hauled in the baled oats earlier and helped get both the 50 Case engine and 6-ton Austin-Western road roller ready. Also, greased the Case machine and Sunday morning, we fired up, pulled out, set the machine and belted up. Wilbur Skarr, Glenn Weagent and both his son and son-in-law were there, with Glenn's steam generator and steam car; they set up for action at the end of the shop. Mr. and Mrs. Duvenneck were also on hand with their Locomobile steamer, so it was strictly a steam powered venture. The Ford tractor was used to haul baled oats with Mr. and Mrs. Humann and son Paul came down, with a friend to help out. We changed off running the engine; Dallas and Paul took over on the roller and rolled down the driveway, orchard and what ever else needed flattening out; Loren's nephews pitched bundles and we nearly buried a VW pickup with straw. The oats were nice and clean, and a nice straw pile resulted too. We all had a good time-another one is in store next fall. Then in November, after washing the boiler on the A-T engine and having its annual inspection, fired up and put it back into the shed for the winter and drained the boiler. That winds up steam for this year.
This is along report, but it covers 3 shows. Also got ray LB 3-5 IHC engine running and ground oats with a 6-inch IHC burr grinder a short time ago. Have some more engines in view.
Forgot to mention that at WSFA annual meeting, letter was read from Chris Busch stating that due to ill health, he would not hold his steam threshing this year, but would next year, at Colton, Washington.