Chateauguay Valley

Chateauguay Valley

Model Case steam engine

H. G. Davis of Havelock, Ontario displayed his scale working model Case steam engine.

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2890 Tullochgorum Road, Ormstown, Quebec, Canada J0S 1G0

About 40 miles to the southwest of the city of Montreal, Quebec, nestled between the St. Lawrence River and the upper New York state border, lies the Chateauguay Valley, a rural area with agricultural roots, and a healthy population of antique enthusiasts.

It's not at all surprising, given the above mentioned ingredients (farmers, farmland and antique buffs), that the Chateauguay Valley Antique Association was formed in May of 1986, with its membership growing quickly to include over 80 members. On the 27th and 28th of August 1988, the club held its Third Annual Exhibition.

The show is held at the farm of the late Leslie Rennie, located barely ? mile from the U.S. border at Rock-burn, Quebec. The first-time visitor will quickly recognize that the setting is something special. Over the course of his lifetime, Leslie Rennie amassed a most extraordinary private collection of antiques, memorabilia and historic buildings. While his collection was sold at auction in 1986, the historic buildings, including a turn of the century general store, Rockburn's first church and log homestead, and the century old farmhouse still remain on site beneath the shade of towering sugar maples.

Although small by some show standards, the C.V.A.A.'s show offered something for everyone. The old general store housed a variety of exhibits, from toy tractor collections and antique household items, to a vintage firearms display. Black's Church rang with the sounds of 30 antique music machines, all impeccably presented.

Outdoor exhibits included a wide variety of working gas engines nicely restored and original tractors, antique fire fighting apparatus and classic cars. Some of the favorites over the weekend included a ? scale working model Case steam engine, a Rider-Ericsson hot air engine, and a very special working scale model of a 1939 John Deere AR. Live demonstrations throughout the weekend gave visitors a chance to see threshing mills in action, a working shingle mill, hay press, forge, stone crusher, and an antique printing press to mention a few. Over the weekend, butter was churned, competitors tried their luck on the tractor tilt, and the beginning of a log cabin took shape on the grounds.

Visitors enjoyed an expanded flea market this year, as well as a Saturday night dance (and thunderstorm), Sunday morning church service and hearty breakfast served up by the club's canteen.

As the weekend drew to a close, judges endeavoured to make their choices for the best in each class. No easy task considering the time and care exhibitors put into their collections. Some notable winners in the restored classes included Normand Emond's 1923 REO Speed wagon; in tractors, Jim McGerrigle's 1940 Model D Case; in gas engines, Doug Lang's 4 HP New Holland. This year, the Association introduced a new annual award, the Leslie Rennie Memorial trophy, given to the best overall display, as decided jointly by the directors of each category. The club felt this would be a fitting tribute to the spirit of collecting the late Leslie Rennie inspired in so many people. The trophy was awarded by Winston Rennie, a nephew, who now resides at the farm, to Bill Barrington and his family.

The Barringtons' exhibit included everything from their 1923 and '46 Chevy trucks and Massey Harris Pony tractor, to a hand operated washing machine, garden implements, gas engines, and cream separators, all immaculately preserved and restored.

The members of the C.V.A.A. have been very excited about the show's success. The dates have already been set for next year's exhibition, to be held the 26th and 27th of August. Plan to join us! With the energy, enthusiasm and new ideas of club members, exhibitors and volunteers from throughout the community, we hope that the Chateauguay Valley Antique Association's Annual Exhibition will be a part of Valley life for a long time to come.

For more information about the '89 show, call Jim Maither at (514) 264-5615, or Doug Lang at (514) 829-2057.