Promises from Pottsville

Sen. 'Debbs' Potts

Sen. 'Debbs' Potts

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250 Robinson Road, Cave Junction, Oregon 97523

At least everyone now knows where Pottsville is (south Oregon), and what it is (100 pine-studded acres with huge new museum buildings mixed among the old-time pioneer village). Last year, members of EDGE&TA Branch 9 promised to put on a great 1989 National Show, and it far exceeded expectations! The rare engines, as promised were on display. The genial hospitality can be attested to, as the ladies couldn't help liking the lovable Senator 'Debbs' Potts, and all the fellows were given the grand treatment too. The weather, as promised, turned out to be the perfect Oregon climate, not too hot, not too cold, lots of sunshine, with just a whisper of a wind whistling among the pines. The total show contained such a wide variety of things to do and see that it took almost all of both Saturday and Sunday (Father's Day weekend) to get around to seeing everything.

And while this year's (1990) fifth annual show at Pottsville may not be as huge as last year's National, it promises to again be a super show and everyone is welcome. Dedicated to putting on another outstanding show is Al Foote, the 1990 president of Branch 9. Those who wish an informational packet can write to Al at 6210 Castle Terrace, Central Point, Oregon 97502.

With last year being the Centennial Year of the Tractor, Pottsville had more tractors attending than ever before, with some being trailered in from as far away as Colorado. One unusual McCormick-Deering Rowcrop had been converted to a wide front axle using a Fordson front end! Speaking of Fordsons, at least one of the thirteen major tractor clubs was represented by the Fordson Tractor Club, which had a wide variety of Fordson memorabilia which attracted a lot of visitors.

Comment after comment was heard on the rare and unusual engines, and it was agreed that perhaps the greatest number of these were gathered at one site than had ever been seen on the West Coast. Host Branch 9 members displayed, among others: the 5 HP 2 cycle Temple with upside-down inverted pistons of Rusty Brizendine; Mel Graham's 7 HP twin piston Ottawa; Al Foote's early 1920's 10 HP Star vertical, weighing in at 2,300 pounds; Bill Wallner's Hvid thermal diesel 'family'; a 10 HP Otto sideshaft; and a 1900 Sparta Economy.

Meanwhile, members and visitors from other clubs across the country were running their engines, including: an 8 HP Foos owned by Don Monroe of Yakima, WA; 1891 Regan Vapor Gas engine, the first internal combustion engine built in the U.S., owned by Bill Santos, Newcastle, CA; 1912 British-built Watts Brothers owned by Dick Wiley, Arroyo Grande, CA; and a Union gas engine owned by Anton Affenstranger of California.

Over 125 RV's were stationed among the pines, with license plates from at least ten states. Bill Wallner, well known for his engine interest, counted over 400 engines, while a tractor enthusiast counted over 70 tractors, of which only about 20 or 30 belonged to Branch 9 members. One of the popular tractors was Gary Peterson's Buffalo Springfield steam roller, and his rare Munktells from Sweden. Brian Pickering's early 1931 Cat 60 drew a lot of attention, as did a miniature 6' long Cat owned by the Wilson brothers of near Eureka, California. Naturally, the big Cat had no problem during the tractor pull. A fun thing had been planned for the crowd; the drawbar of the big Cat was to be hitched to the back of the little Cat for a pulling contest, only the big Cat was to slip into reverse and make it look like the miniature Cat was out-pulling it. Unfortunately time ran out, and this project was shelved until another year.

Naturally most of the running tractors paraded at noon, plus several taking turns drawing water wagons and being 'people movers' and just running around having fun.

Several local area antique car clubs had a drive-thru and became so interested in the proceedings that many returned the second day with quite a few putting their cars on display. There were so many that Senator Debbs Potts just ran his early '20s 'Pottsville Taxi' around, leaving his other antique cars on display in the museum.

The crowds toured both the museum and the 'Big Barn' to see all the antique items and Oregon memorabilia on display.

The National EDGE&TA meeting, held Saturday evening, was attended by all members after a hearty feed of chili beans, steaks, potato salad and apple pie. Many of the clubs across the U.S. were represented, including Branch 10 from Wisconsin, who will host the 1990 show. After introduction of 1989 officers, several special dignitaries were introduced, including host Senator Debbs Potts, National Show chairman Dan Collins, and Branch 9 president Mel Graham. The usual old iron swapmeet was popular with members; the ladies enjoyed the antique tables. The craft area had a constant flow of viewers observing the spinning and weaving, the Indian trade bead collection, and the Hugo Ladies Quilting Society's display of the special show quilt which was raffled off. Meanwhile, the men looked enviously at the bright green John Deere raffle engine.

This year at Pottsville, some new things to see: John Deere BO tractor bearing a brass plate with the serial number 325085 (second one ever made); a rarely found Holt 'Midget', built in 1914 and just restored by Sen. Potts; and Mel Graham's International 2 HP Famous hopper cooled Junior engine #121 (twenty-first made, since serial numbers started at 100). Many more rare and interesting engines and tractors are promised in addition to these.

While it may not be quiet as large as the Nationals, you're invited to attend Pottsville 1990, again scheduled for Father's Day Weekend, June 16 and 17, where a great time is promised for all at 'The Home of Oregon Memories.'