MILLPOND SUNSHINE

Mules

One of twelve teams of mini-mules.

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10750 S. Vroman Road Shepherd, Michigan 48883-9352 Photos by Arnold Spencer

As I start this story on our 14th annual Blanchard Millpond Steam and Gas Show, I look out the window on this October morning and it is very foggy. Thus my thoughts go back to the nice and sunny weekend of August 25, 26 and 27,2000.

This year there was a very good turnout of exhibitors and spectators because of our interesting show, and the weather was just great.

New this year was a mini-mule pull, put on by the Michigan Sanctioned Mini-Mule Pull Association. For those who don't know what a mini-mule is, they are just a little bigger than a Shetland pony, but boy, can they pull! The winning team pulled 4,000 pounds on a steel sled.

This year's show was dedicated to the memory of George Moss, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, who passed away last winter. George was a loyal friend, always helpful and very knowledgeable. George showed and operated his steam traction engine at various shows around Michigan. He always had it at the Millpond Show every year and was a very good supporter of our show. He is sadly missed.

There were four steam traction engines shown this year, including George's, which was shown by his son Mike.

The featured tractor this year was Oliver and Hart-Parr, and the total count of all makes was 211.

Gilson gas engines were featured and total count of all makes was 232, along with 47 garden tractors, 24 models and various displays of tools, grinders, shellers and pumps.

The Farthest Distance Traveled Award went to John Friemund of Goshen, Indiana.

In past articles, I mentioned that this show was put on by the Blanchard Millpond Parks and Recreation Board. Well, the show got bigger than we could handle, so late last winter (2000) we got in touch with people that attended and/or supported our show, to see if there was enough interest to start a steam and gas association, and there was. Thus extra help at this year's show made it run a lot more smoothly.

The group is small, but there are a lot of ideas on how to make the Millpond Show more interesting to exhibitors and spectators in the future.

So, mark your calendar for our annual Swap Meet, May 11 and 12, 2001, and the 15th annual Millpond Steam and Gas Show featuring Minneapolis-Moline and Twin City tractors, along with Hercules gas engines, on August 24,25,26,2001.

Our show is off the beaten path but what a pleasant drive there, with rolling hills and tree-lined roads, so make plans to visit us in late August 2001.

A big thank you to all the exhibitors and spectators that attended our 2000 show.