'92 Midwest Reunion Review

1992 Old Threshers Reunion

An unusual occurence took place in the gas engine area during the 1992 Old Threshers Reunion. Sheriff Glen Hamm (left) of the North Village Gang rounded up a couple of mean looking convicts and put them to work crushing rock in the gas engine area. Many v

Jim Adams

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Midwest Old Threshers Threshers Road Mt. Pleasant, Iowa 52641

Despite forecasts predicting scattered thunderstorms and some actual rainfall, the 1992 Old Threshers Reunion, in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, was very successful. Crowds were only slightly below the event's last year's average.

An early summer fire that destroyed a storage building filled with reunion-related equipment and materials, left association officials concerned as to whether materials could be replaced in time for the annual event. But with the help of Old Threshers' dedicated staff and many volunteers, all reunion areas were in full operation. Volunteer support focused in many areas with construction of all screening panels used by food groups, assembling oak gates for use in the horse barns, the building of a food concession building, and the donation of time and equipment. In addition, many area individuals donated used appliances and the Iowa Franchise Association donated many pieces of commercial equipment to the organization.

'Old Threshers has always touted a strong volunteer resource, but this year proved the actual potential of our volunteers,' said administrator, Lennis Moore. 'It seemed like no project was too small. Every project had ample numbers of people ready, willing and able to role up their sleeves and get the task completed. Old Threshers realized a dramatic increase in an already strong volunteer support group with many new faces added to the roster. This carried over to the reunion with increased support in all areas,' Moore continued.

All main exhibit areas witnessed an increase in the quality of exhibited units. The traction steam area developed some new ideas and better organized existing demonstrations. The stationary steam area continued to expand its lectures and demonstrations while many volunteers were videotaped as they recalled their earlier involvement with steam powerhouses.

The gas engine area featured the engines manufactured by the Hercules Gas Engine Company of Evansville, Indiana. Exhibitors brought in 56 Economy engines, with a total of over 989 engines on display at the reunion.

Tractor exhibitors brought in over 300 gas tractors, with many of them participating in the antique tractor pulls on Friday and Saturday. A newly introduced kiddie pedal pull provided children with an event tailor-made to their size. Each child received a participation ribbon.

Antique car exhibitors presented wonderfully restored automobiles and trucks in top working order. Car volunteers hauled participants to the 50th Anniversary Celebration, the Old Threshers Award Ceremony, and assisted in shuttling people from place to place on the main grounds. The car area also saw the addition of a seven passenger Stanley steamer.

Labor Day rain forced the cancellation of the ever popular invitational horse pull. However, through the reunion, horse exhibitors demonstrated the newly restored 1888 Case separator and power, the saw mill, and did baling demonstrations that included a halter class show in the Log Village, as part of the expanded programming for Explorer Post 1846. The Log Village was a literal beehive of activity, with continuous historic presentations including weddings, dances, funerals, and authentic craft demonstrations.

The Midwest Electric Railway served as the main campground/Log Village shuttle.

The newly acquired Boston PCC cars donated by Tom Boland from Hannibal, Missouri, ran in tandem as they efficiently carried reunion visitors.

Reunion visitors enjoyed the free entertainment stages, the country music grandstand shows, and the delicious food prepared by area church and civic groups. Visitors purchased many crafts and antiques from reunion vendors.

'Certainly the weather was a major factor in the slight attendance decrease,' said Moore. 'But, the 1992 Old Threshers Reunion scored high marks with an increase in programming from many areas, a strong feeling of cooperation between participating groups, and a renewed dedication to the mission of the association: 'preserving our agricultural heritage in a modern world.' '