THIRD ANNUAL Cowboy State Antique Steam & Gas Reunion

Tractors lining up after the parade

Tractors lining up after the parade.

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P.O. Box 209 Torrington, Wyoming 82240

The third annual Cowboy State Antique Steam and Gas Association Reunion was held on July 22nd and 23rd at the Goshen County Fairgrounds in Torrington, Wyoming. Although planning for the show began in earnest at the March 1988 meeting, club members met at the Goshen County University of Wyoming Research Station on July 5th to bind and shock wheat and barley for the threshing bee at the show. Members used a 1946 John Deere grain binder pulled by a 1936 John Deere A, both of which are owned by David and Morris Cronk. On July 16th the bundles were loaded onto wagons and taken to the fairgrounds. One of the wagons was pulled by a Belgian team, Dick and Dolly, owned by John Sterner and Steve Jepson.

The weather was hot and sunny both days of the show. The schedule of events for each day began with a flag raising ceremony by a local Boy Scout troop at 9:00 a.m. The gas engines were started and run throughout the day.

Highlights of each day included threshing with a John Deere threshing machine. In the morning, gas tractors were used to run the threshing machine. The following are some of the tractors used: a model 44 Massey-Harris owned by Brad Banta of Henry, Nebraska, a 1936 John Deere A owned by Terry Lofink of Torrington, Wyoming, a 1927 Farmall Regular owned by Morris and David Cronk of Torrington, Wyoming, and a 1945 John Deere A owned by Scott Hort of Lyman, Nebraska. In the afternoon the threshing machine was run by steam power provided by the Cronk brothers' 1917 Case 60 HP steam traction engine and Stan Wamhoff's 3/5 scale 16 HP Russell steam traction engine. The straw from the threshing was baled with two International stationary hay presses, both owned by the Cowboy State Antique Steam and Gas Association. One hay press is self-powered by an International engine and the other hay press is powered by a 6 HP John Deere gas engine owned by the Cronk brothers. The threshed grain was loaded in a Model T truck owned by Ross Jepson of Yoder, Wyoming. A tractor parade was held each afternoon, followed by a slow race on Friday. The tractor pull was held at 6:00 each evening. Some of the visitors and club members were used as weights on the sled the tractors pulled.

On Saturday, a tug-of-war was held between the 3/5 scale Russell steam traction engine and the children at the show. Although the children pulled as hard as they could, the steam traction engine won. The old time music for the show was provided by the Torrington Fiddlers' Association.

Free rides were provided throughout the show by several teams and wagons. Among these, a stagecoach with a six-pony hitch owned by H. H. Brooks of Ft. Laramie, Wyoming, a wagon with a four-pony hitch owned by Bob Davidson of Torrington, Wyoming, a wagon and team owned by Henri Cattin of Veteran, Wyoming, a wagon and Belgian team owned by Elwood Rave of Ft. Laramie, Wyoming, and a bundle wagon and Belgian team owned by Steve Jepson of Yoder, Wyoming, and John Sterner of Torrington, Wyoming.

Some of the out-of-town exhibits at our show included the 1916 Waterloo Boy owned by Walt Staack of Denver, Colorado, the 1930 Model AA Ford 1?-ton truck owned by Dave Zeeb of Cheyenne, Wyoming, and the scale model of a Holt 4-cylinder engine owned by George Scott of Outlook, Montana.

There were several demonstrations at the show that depicted life as it was in earlier days. Among these were demonstrations given on treadle sewing machines, gas and hand powered washing machines, corn shellers, and burr mills. The ladies of the Association made homemade ice cream for the crowd with a gas powered Maytag washing machine. Frank Slichter of Casper, Wyoming, demonstrated his model saw which was run by a ?-scale John Deere gas engine. He cut up cedar strips and gave them to the crowd to use to freshen their chest of drawers.

All the members felt that it was a very successful show. Our exhibits included ninety-three gas engines, two steam traction engines, sixty-two tractors, five corn shellers, three antique cars, three antique trucks, one threshing machine, and other miscellaneous exhibits.

As Frank Slichter, one of our clubs' charter members, always says, 'We may not ever be the largest show, but let's try to be known as the friendliest.' With this in mind, we would like to invite everyone to stop in at the Fourth Annual Cowboy State Antique Steam and Gas Association Reunion in 1989 at the Goshen County Fairgrounds in Torrington, Wyoming. It will be held on July 21 and 22.