The 44th Midwest Old Threshers Reunion, September 2-6,1993, was quite the accomplishment. Despite two days of rain, the event was pulled off with tremendous efforts by the staff and volunteers. 'After the record floods and heavy rains earlier this summer, we were expecting a tremendous turnout at this year's event,' administrator Lennis Moore said. The crowds were very good, with a record number of visitors coming in on Saturday. Total attendance was 55,350, down just a little bit from last year all-in-all a great turnout.
With 300-plus antique tractors on the grounds, the tractor enthusiast could look to his or her delight. Besides parading in the Cavalcade of Power Saturday and Sunday, exhibitors participated in the antique tractor pull on Saturday morning. Baker fan and the belt driven dynamometer demonstrations were held daily. One of the highlights of the event was Dwight Shella-barger's tractor of the year, the La Crosse Line Drive. On several occasions we saw Dwight putting the La Crosse through its paces on the Old Threshers grounds.
This year's featured gas engine was the New Way engine (it goes and goes right!!!). Many New Way engines were displayed. With nearly 1,000 engines on the grounds, visitors were treated to a wide variety of demonstrations. Rock crushing, washing machines, and even powering a mini Ferris-wheel were presentations put on by the exhibitors.
The gas engine area also boasted two new engines. The first was a 35 HP Olin, the second a 20 HP Reid. Both were previously used to operate oil wells and were brought to Midwest Old Threshers through funding provided by the Old Threshers Foundation. Louis and Barry Tuller spearheaded the effort to bring the engines to the grounds. They also coordinated the transportation of the engines from the East Coast to Mt. Pleasant.
The grand finale of this year's reunion was the annual horse pull. What a close one that was!!! One inch separated the first and second place teams. We appreciate all the pullers that make our annual horse pull one of the most exciting events at our reunion.
This year also marked the opening of a new exhibit at Midwest Old Threshers. The Peterson Implement Exhibit is designed to show visitors what an implement dealership would look like in any small Midwestern town around 1939. It will be the introduction display to the 'American Farm Implement Exhibit' which is scheduled to be completed by 1995.
Campground volunteers are the friendly people you meet at the Old Threshers Reunion. The volunteers, headed up by Director Bob Woodall, pitched in and helped get Museum B ready for this year's reunion. It took just a half-hour for forty-five volunteers to sweep out the Museum, which is, we think, a record! Congratulations to Campground Director Bob Woodall, because at this year's reunion his daughter Bonnie was married to Steve Vogler on Sunday afternoon in the Pleasant Hill Church, which is of course located in the campground. Our best wishes to the bride and groom.
Other things that went extremely well during this year's reunion were the food booths. If you went away hungry, you must not have looked too hard to find something to eat. Everyone enjoyed themselves and had looks of contentment as they left the food tents. Thanks to Dave Timmerman, Director of Food Operations. Yes, he gets the fun job of keeping all those tents organized.
Crafters were thrilled with the event as well, and more than once the phrase was heard, 'We'll be back next year.'
The many buildings of crafts were some of the reunion's high traffic areas all five days. Rain or shine, the crafters' booths were jumping. Special kudos to arts and crafts coordinators Judy Collora and Harrison Moore, for hours of dedication throughout the year.
This year's reunion was a great success, and our heartfelt thanks go to the volunteers who made it happen. Without their help and dedication, there would not be a Midwest Old Threshers Reunion. We are excited about the good fortune of this year's reunion and hope that next year you and your family will come and join our celebration of the great agricultural heritage that we all share and Midwest Old Threshers strives to preserve.