Dream Comes True For White River Valley Antique Association

Engine Alley

Engines and log saw in Engine Alley;

Content Tools

RR#l, Box 18 Odon, Indiana 47562

Six years ago a small group of individuals interested in antiques got together and talked. Some were interested in gas engines, some in old tractors, some in steam engines and yes, the women got into it too with old furniture, quilting, lye soap and all the things our ancestors had to do to survive.

They dreamed of having a show but where? The Davies County Fair Grounds in the little town of Elnora, Indiana (population 800) seemed to be a good place since there were buildings available and it was a good central location. The name White River Valley Antique Association was picked because White River is just out of town and 'antique' would cover both men's and women's interests.

With much organization the first two-day show was held in 1985 and proved to be successful. Each year has been better than the last but more space was needed. 36 acres just south of the fair grounds became available and in January 1990 the WRVAA purchased the ground. A planning committee has been working. 100 trees have been set and a new storage building is being erected and camp grounds are being planned. A corn shucking contest is being planned for the 1990 show.

Last year a three-day show was held and over 10,000 individuals passed through the gates. Actually, the show began on Thursday when a wagon train of about 40 units traveled the back roads from the neighboring town of Odon to the fair grounds, followed by a wiener roast.

Each year on Friday, about 1200 elementary school pupils from surrounding schools are invited to see how their ancestors lived. Many of these youngsters have never seen threshing machines at work, horses being used on the farms or apple butter being made in a large kettle outside over a wood fire.

Flea markets were doing big business and all of the 400 gas engines, steam engines, 200 antique tractors, cars and trucks were making a lot of noise. There were belt-driven machinery, sawmills, hay presses, shingle mills, horse powered machinery and field demonstrations.. A 150 HP Page engine and a one cylinder Cat engine, both acquired in 1989, were running in their own permanent building.

Parade of power was held each day and church service was held on Sunday. Antique tractor pull, kids pedal tractor pull, medicine show, a one room school in session, a building of antique hand tools, a toy building, quilting, general store and house of yesteryear, sorghum making, apple butter, lye soap, homemade root beer and ice cream from the world's largest homemade freezer were some of the other activities during the weekend. Something was going on all the time for the entire family.

The 1990 show will be held September 7, 8, and 9. There is lots of free parking and camping available. Exhibitors must be members; membership is $5 and admits husband and wife. Admission to the show is $2.