Old Reliable Makes Its first Appearance

Hart Parr 30-60 tractor

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R.R. I, Box 107, Edwardsport, Indiana 47528

The White River Valley Antique Show had an honored guest at its 7th annual show last September. Doug Kutch of Odon, Indiana, pulled up to the show with his new 'toy,' a 1910 Hart Parr 30-60 tractor. This rare tractor is one of only a few in the United States. Everyone ran to help him unload and get a quick inspection of 'Old Reliable.'

Doug purchased it less than a month before in Michigan. 'Does it run?' was the main question, and with a smile Doug said, 'Well, of course!' Old Reliable ran well and the pulling sound it made, on the threshing machine was awesome. As the three day event continued, Old Reliable was the center of attention.

The antique and machinery show in Elnore, Indiana, is the fastest growing in the area. This year's attendance increased to over 10,000.

A primary goal of the club is to educate the school children. Fridays are always designated as Kid's Day and all the surrounding county schools are invited to bring pupils for a day of learning. Average attendance for children on this day is over 3,000. Lye soap making is a favorite demonstration of the children. Also on this day, all area nursing homes are invited as the club's guests for a day of remembrance.

The show has expanded from the fairgrounds to now include another 40 acres. Expansion on the new ground will continue for 1992. A country street is being started and now in residence is a blacksmith shop, farmstead, sorghum shack, bread making shop and a nice rest area. There was wheat threshing, horse and tractor field demonstrations, corn elevator, horses on treadmill threshing wheat and many more demonstrations.

When a little R & R is needed, an enjoyable part of the day can be riding the shuttle wagon over the grounds. A pleasant resting activity is sitting in the bleachers watching the parade of power on Saturday and Sunday. Listening to the announcer tell about each unit is very educational and interesting. A lot of country and gospel music is played daily. You can take advantage of the enjoyable sounds and rest your weary feet.

The show offers more to eat than is imaginable, such as homemade ice cream, root beer, apple butter and ham and beans. New this year was potato chips being made in a big black pot. The steam engine whistles blowing at noon are a reminder to eat. I still enjoy this sound and the remembrances of when this was done at the threshing dinners.

Shops of yesteryear were also interesting. There was everything from the old general store to the hat shop, doll shop, toy shop, pottery shop, and many more. This just gives you an idea of some of the things to see. The craftsmen in these shops love having people come in and visit with them and ask about their special demonstrations.

In this same building was a large quilt display and a quilting bee in session. The big rug loom was busy as the ladies showed me their talent of rug making.

Next to this building is an enormous flea market.

What is that sound I hear? As I look straight ahead I could see 'gasoline alley'. All the gas engines running made quite an impression.

Buildings housing the toys, hand tools, horse carriages,' and machinery kept many spectators interested. The Fun Farm building was full to capacity with all types of animals. How long has it been since you've seen chickens hatching, a bee hive, or sheep being sheared?

Steam engines, gas engines, antique cars and trucks, and over 200 antique tractors were also on display. One building housed a 150 HP Page engine; the sound of its motor starting was music to my ears. A novelty item was a homemade tractor a club member made which was powered by a rare one cylinder Caterpillar engine.

The show for 1992 is on September 11,12,13,butif you can go on Thursday afternoon you'll enjoy seeing the wagon train coming into the fairgrounds from Odon. This is a growing part of the show. The horses and mules are kept here at the show and used in the demonstrations. It is quite a sight to see.

Main attractions that excited me were the corn shucking contest on Saturday, the antique tractor pull on Saturday night and the Sunday morning church service.

Just remember September 11-13, if you want to see a spectacular show. Old Reliable will be there to majestically welcome each and everyone. The show is located in Elnora, Indiana, at the Daviess County Fairgrounds. Call me at (812) 328-2359 for information.