10750 S. Vroman Road Shepherd, Michigan 48883-9352
The Blanchard Millpond Show had a very good turnout of exhibitors. Mother Nature rained on us Sunday, which seems to be the norm for a lot of shows here in Michigan this year.
The Antique Construction Equipment Demo on Saturday was very popular with the spectators. Don Merrihew of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, had his 820 John Deere tractor with a four-wheel handcock scraper and his JD 440 dozer.
Ron Miller of Weidman, Michigan, had his Osgood front shovel and a 1927 Caterpillar 30. Both were restored very nicely. Also, Glenn Higgins of Rosebush, Michigan had his dump truck, which was rather unusual.
Dale Sonke of Rockford, Michigan, was there with his beautifully restored Peerless portable 6 HP steam engine (circa 1890-1895) belted up to a buzz saw. He received a plaque from the show for having the oldest exhibit.
There is one steam traction engine at the show, owned by George Flaugher of Weidman, Michigan. The engine is a 1919 Frick. George had it belted to the saw mill and also put on the spark show Friday and Saturday evenings. We hope to have three or four steam traction engines in 1998.
The gas engine area was 'bustin' ' at the seams on Saturday with a great turn-out of both spectators and exhibitors. There were model engines, hit and miss engines, old tool displays, garden tractors and everything in between.
The kids games and pedal pull again were a success for the younger crowd. On Saturday, the Powder Puff and the 1940 and older tractor pulls were well attended by both pullers and spectators. Mother Nature postponed the pulls on Sunday which was to be the 1952 and older tractors. These tractor pulls use a 'stone' boat.
The Horse Pull on Friday evening was put on by the Michigan Horse Pull Boat Association and 15 teams were there to please the large crowd.
Our featured tractor in 1997 was Allis Chalmers, and there was a good showing of them. The tractor display area didn't seem to have as many tractors in it as in past years. I'm not sure why, but all you tractor owners out there don't hesitate bringing your antique tractor to our show. Just because it is not one of the featured ones, or it isn't painted and all fixed up, people like to see tractors, gas engines and all antique equipment in their 'working clothes.'
We have a beautiful park overlooking the Blanchard Millpond which, years ago, had a flour mill at the dam. The flour mill is still standing and can be seen from the park. There are over 100 acres in the park, so we have no shortage of room to display, camp, drive your tractor around or just sit on one of the hills that overlook the display area.
The plaque awarded to the farthest traveled participant went to Maurice Birhn of Avon Park, Florida.
Last, but not by any means, least, I want to thank all the volunteers who help us make this show possible. This show is put on by the Blanchard Area Parks and Recreation Board, and that consists of seven people (including me). We have to rely on volunteers to help us. At times that is not an easy task, going out and/or phoning people to help us. I know there are those out there who, after reading this, are saying, 'Been there, done that.' I think all shows everywhere go through this.
Our show dates for 1998 are August 28, 29, and 30.
Thanks again from all of us t the Blanchard Millpond Steam and Gas Show for coming to our show, and thanks to everyone for taking the time to show your 'toys' off.