Edwards River Antique Engine Association


Feature tractor, 1936 J.D. A owned by Harold Wadham.

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North Henderson, Illinois 61466

The fourth annual show of the Edwards River Antique Engine Association was held on the weekend of June 17-18, 1989. The show was held at a new location: the New Windsor Rodeo Park in New Windsor, Illinois, which provided plenty of exhibit and parking space.

The feature tractor for 1989 was a 1936 John Deere A owned by Harold 'Shorty' Wadham of New Windsor, Illinois, one of the charter members of the Edwards River Club. The tractor is completely restored, repainted, and runs like new. Shorty can always be found wiping the dust off and polishing his tractor to make that green paint shine. He enjoys taking his tractors to local parades to show them off.

This year's feature engine, a 5 HP Fairbanks-Morse owned by John Brodd of Moline, Illinois, is a very nicely restored and excellent running engine. John plans to display this and other engines he owns on the bed of a 1 1/2 ton Reo truck of the 1940's vintage.

There were over 80 engines on display. The sound of engines at work could be heard as they labored away doing various demonstrations. This brought back many memories of days gone by to the older folks and an interesting sight to the young.

We had over 75 tractors displayed by club members as well as other antique tractor buffs of the area. The tractors paraded on both afternoons as the president's wife's tractor ran out of gas and needed a tow. Luckily, a spare tractor and chain were handy. Spectators watched from the bleacher seats as many tractors paraded through the rodeo arena with the announcer having a comment about each one.

The park provided nice shade for several flea market exhibitors with a wide variety of items ranging from tractor parts to priceless antiques of all sorts. In one area the corn sheller was operating for a crowd, while in another the steam engine powered by a sawmill for still more spectators. Many of the tractor owners tested their horsepower on one of the two fans.

Saturday noon was the showdown for tractor pullers as the Bald Bluff Antique Tractor Association provided the sled and rules for an antique tractor pull. The pull was a huge success as there were over 115 hookups. Spectators could watch the pull from the ample seating around the rodeo arena.

The New Windsor Rodeo Association kept all of our tummies full with meals ranging from a pancake breakfast to pork chop sandwiches. Good ole' home cookin'!!

Sunday afternoon the children had their turn hooking up to the sled at the kiddie tractor pull. Many children participated with each one receiving a prize.

Next it was time for the games. We had the coverall race and the slow race with many participants. Afterwards was the cooling off period as the water pitcher race found many contestants getting wet! The finale of the weekend was the raffle drawings with prizes of a very colorful, handmade afghan, a stained glass lamp with many popular engine companies' logos inscribed in it, and a pedal tractor and trailer.

The Edwards River Antique Engine Association Show for 1990 will be held at the same location in New Windsor, located west of 1-74 on Route 17. The dates for the shows are June 23-24- Hope to see you there!