Ellis Keystone grain separator

Steve W. Deutsch

Content Tools

775 N. Homer Rd., Midland, Michigan 48640

Mother Nature provided perfect weather during the first Salt River Acres Antique Machinery & Gas Engine Show. The show took place on June 11 & 12, 1988 at Salt River Acres in Oil City, Michigan. The event was co-sponsored by Salt River Acres, Inc. and the Midland Antique Engine Club.

During the two days there were many interesting displays including 174 gas engines, many gas tractors, antique cars and assorted items of old machinery. Some interesting exhibits included a 50 HP Superior, owned by Glen Higgins of Rosebush, Michigan and a water-cooled, twin-flywheeled Maytag made by Clayton Bremer of Morley, Michigan. The latter was dubbed the 'Clayborn' and attracted a lot of attention. A Waterloo steam traction engine owned by Dick Yeakle of Midland, Michigan powered a restored antique sawmill. Enough boards were cut during the weekend to build a permanent enclosure for the portable sawmill.

A shingle mill was in operation throughout the weekend, providing free shingles to the public. The shingles were ready for branding in the blacksmith area by smithy A. J. Morlan of Big Rapids, Michigan.

An Ellis Keystone grain separator, circa 1900, owned by Gus Dombroske was in full operation. Since Michigan's oat crop is not ready for cutting early in June, Gus kindly provided the wheat straw for the demonstration. 

A nicely restored 1927 Model T Roadster owned by Frank White led a daily parade of tractors and antique cars. Saturday night a bluegrass group, 'Cabin Fever', took the stage to entertain the crowd. Flea market vendors sold, bartered and hawked their wares and memorabilia from sun-up to sundown.

The 1989 show is slated for June 10 & 11, with the 9th as a day for setting up. Free admission, camping, exhibitor ribbons and brass plaques will again be given to all who register. Next year's show promises to be bigger and better with the addition of free popcorn roasted in an open kettle, tractor games and a pedal pull. Salt River Acres is situated on 40 acres and is beautifully maintained. The exhibitors' area is shaded and power and water hookups are available to campers. There are also hot showers, a children's playground and a fully enclosed pavilion. Salt River Acres is certainly an ideal setting for an engine show.