1996 Koreshan State Park Show

25 HP Fairbanks Morse Diesel

John Hoffman's 25 HP Fairbanks Morse Diesel.

Content Tools

495 Vincent Street, Woodstock, Ontario, Canada N4S 5N1

The weather in Florida had not been the greatest all winter. Cold Arctic blasts from the north seemed to arrive each weekend that the Florida Flywheelers had scheduled a show. Many Flywheelers were exhausted fighting the high winds and rain that had arrived almost every weekend. The weekend of March 16 and 17 would prove to be the exception!

Thirty-four exhibitors set up displays starting on the 15th and by the time the weekend was over the crowds had surpassed everyone's expectations. Excellent media coverage by the local newspaper and TV brought out young and old.

The park staff was always more than willing to show off their work on the large Fairbanks-Morse engine they are restoring. They hope to have it running for next year's show and eventually to have the belted generator going, too. This equipment was left over from the original Koreshan Settlement which fell into disuse in the 1940s. The settlement must have been quite a place in its heyday, and is worth a visit anytime just to look into the old buildings that were put to so many uses over the years.

The Fly wheelers set up displays showing models of yesteryear's tractors, trucks, cars, giant engines and miniature trains. One could find almost anything from 1940s kitchen appliances to ladies in flapper outfits while touring the grounds. Sixty-four engine displays, most of which were running, lent the smell of gas fumes and exhaust noises to the air. As usual, children and adults alike loved to just stand and stare at the open crankshafts as they revolved. Flat belts, running engine to machine, were evident at many displays and were always a source for meaningful questions. The noise of 'oogah' horns occasionally startled pedestrians who strolled the large grounds unaware of the antique autos that sometimes sneaked up behind them.

Two of the local members cooked a hog in an antique stove and served it as part of the Saturday evening meal. Quite a treat for all! The Florida Fly wheeler members in the general area of Fort Myers always look forward to this event. The park is located just a few miles south of that city at Highway 41 and Estero Road. Look for signs.