Pioneer Museum Show

Content Tools

5801 E. 5th Street, Tucson, Arizona 85711

The engine and tractor show the Salt River Valley Antique Power Association put on March 4th of 1995, at the Pioneer Village just north of Phoenix city limits, was a very pleasant and interesting get together of old iron collectors, though we were not all old, the iron was.

The weather was wonderfully cool, but sunny, which also made it pleasant. In the center of the village is a grassed-in square with lots of shade trees. The village is made up of various typical businesses of bygone days. There is a Victorian house containing the various furnishings of the period, with a host dressed to fit the occasion. Then there's the Print Shop (yours truly got a neat recipe for sour milk biscuits that the shop had printed up and am sharing it with all of you, see below). The dress shop the lady there makes clothes of the period for sale and has clothes from before the Civil War period on display. She uses two different old treadle sewing machines to sew on.

Then there is the blacksmith shop, built to scale of a real one and all in working order with a real smithy, the big overhead bellows, the walls are covered with the old tools of the period. There is a sleigh, buggies, etc. in there, also a fine display of model old tools of yesteryear.

A brick bank building was moved there with all the interior furnishings, such as the heavy walk-in vault with its huge steel door, teller's cage, machines, even the tile flooring and wall and ceiling coverings. I'd say it's turn of the century or earlier. The sheriffs office is a repro, though it had many authentic furnishings in it. There is even a live sheriff and what appears to be a dead guy in one of the cells, cause dust is settled on him!

A two story brick opera house is about a block away with an old organ that looks playable, and next to it is the gift shop with some antiques and some very nice gifts for sale. The restaurant has an adjoining old-time bar next to it.

There is the ranch setting about a block in the other direction that contains a log barn and corrals, log ranch house, and a couple of other-log houses furnished with items of that period a root cellar, a spring box with a real spring running in it. There is even a chicken house and cage with live chickens. The brick bakery building was moved there, but it's not restored yet. To the south of the Square is another log house with furnishings and some more chickens. Across from the house is the log school house with a live teacher, the teacher's log house next to the school and furnished.

Next to the school buildings is a big white church building with steeple and all. Most of these old buildings were moved to the museum grounds from various places in Arizona. The museum alone is well worth looking through the various buildings and furnishings. It took up a couple of my hours, and I walked it.

The host club was very gracious in that they had hot coffee and rolls for us all early in the morning next to the gazebo in the Square. At noon we all enjoyed a pot luck lunch which included lots of various delicious dishes including a large variety of desserts, such as pies, cakes, cookies, etc.

Most of the participants arrived early Saturday morning. There were about 25 engines and some go-withs and about seven tractors. The people that I recognized were Bill Pardee and son with their steam tractor and saw mill and Don Robertson had his electric Studebaker, the Decamps, the Jones, and another fella from Sedona there were a lot of strangers. There was a nice lush green grassy field nearby that was used by a couple of Deeres to plow and disc.

There is talk of making it a two-day affair next year, which would make an improvement to the affair and I'm sure more people would attend then, too. Only two sides of the square were used on the perimeter. There was about an acre left that could have been used.

There was a huge level green grassy field covered with filaree for dry camping. It had two large fire pits built for bon-fires with a large pile of wood to burn. As it was, only three campers used it Friday night. A light rain fell that night while we were chawing around the bon-fire. In fact, we had to use umbrellas for a while!

On Saturday there were two wagons (rubber tired smooth ride) that one could ride on and see the whole layout. One wagon was pulled with a Deere (John, that is) and the other with a team of horses. Yes, all in all it was a very nice show which I highly recommend all of us 'old' iron collectors to attend.

As promised above, here's the recipe:

Anyone wanting more information, please write or call Don Tolbert, 3731 W. Vista Ave., Phoenix AZ 85051, home phone 602-973-5992; work phone 602-272-6591.