Third Annual Salt River Acres Engine and Machinery Show


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775 N. Homer Road Midland, Michigan 48640

The Third Annual Salt River Acres Antique Engine and Machinery Show began on June 9, 1990 and continued through June 10. Even though the show is still in its infancy, it is steadily growing. The show attracted exhibits that included 45 tractors, 250 plus engines, and many interesting demonstrations and displays.

Saturday morning started with a delicious breakfast of biscuits and gravy prepared and served by members of the Midland Antique Engine Club. The breakfast was so successful that the Young & Pretzer families have promised to be back in the kitchen again this year.

The early morning allowed time for close inspection of exhibits, bartering for old iron, and flea market browsing.

In the early afternoon, activities were kicked off with a parade that included all that were willing with machines that were able to move under their own power. One Standard Twin garden tractor seemed to have a mind of its own and added a touch of humor for some of the spectators around the parade route.

Later, the tractor teeter-totter drew a lot of interest. The objective was simply to balance your tractor in the fastest time. There were different phases of difficulty, and the task proved to be quite a challenge for some.

The younger set got deeply involved with the pedal pull, while a cheering group of parents encouraged them onward. All the children participating received an award for their efforts.

Two shingle mills were cranking out free souvenirs all through the day. The blacksmiths were nearby to brand the shingle with the show name and date. Two saw mills remained busy throughout the weekend cutting hundreds of board feet of lumber. Even though the usual belting problems were experienced with the Frick steam engine, everyone enjoyed watching the operators work. Lots of folks offered a helpful suggestion or lent a helping hand. A lot of tractors were waiting on the sidelines ready to belt up.

A tractor slow race had been arranged and many enthusiastic participants were on hand to show their stuff.

A crosscut sawing competition was open to anyone with a partner. Some of these folks had never used a crosscut prior to this event. With a minimum of instruction and a little practice, all the men and women looked like experts. Everyone enjoyed the old fashioned fun.

A pot luck dinner, with ham provided by the club, beckoned to one and all. There didn't appear to be a person that missed out on the dinner. It has become a fine tradition at the Salt River Show, and a wonderful opportunity to visit with old friends and meet new ones over a delicious meal.

The evening was rounded out with free musical entertainment provided by a willing group of bluegrass musicians.

Sunday gave everyone an opportunity to see anything they might have missed the day before, and to enter the parade.

Throughout the weekend an exhibitor drawing was held, with prizes awarded about every hour. The grand prize, $100, was awarded at 3:00 p.m. sharp, while a group of anxious exhibitors awaited the sound of their own name.

The 1991 show promises to be as exciting as ever. The club is working on some new additions which include benches to rest your weary feet, a new sawmill, and a wonderful gift of a 50 horsepower Cooper Bessemer engine donated by Jack Long Jr. Be sure you don't miss the show on June 8 and 9.