Rt. 2, Box 2 Carrollton, Illinois 62016
The last weekend of August 1991 has come and gone but the Club had a wonder full 5th year show! This year we made a move to the grounds of a Civil War era mansion, Hazel Dell. The mansion, built in 1866, has been opened as a lovely spot to eat and is now opening some rooms as a Bed and Breakfast Inn. The grounds there are partially shaded and there is direct access to Illinois Highway 267. We have had some good shows in the past but this year's show was phenomenal. The weather was beautiful even though it was warm. Our volunteer help was plentiful, from the Future Farmers of America local club who manned the gate and parked cars, to the ladies who prepared lunch and kept the cold drinks coming. The flea market people were happy with the shady spots of our new location and from all reports did well.
Many of the members took the opportunity to display some of their collections of old engines from a wide variety of early Maytags and Elgins on one trailer to large Galloways, Alamos, Wiscona Pep, Famous, Stover, Aeromotor, 7 HP New Way, 1? HP Economy, John Deere of many different sizes, Duro and many others. All in all the engines numbered a third more than were displayed the year before. Although the tractors on display weren't as numerous as desired, over a hundred took part in the antique and standard tractor pulls. Several of the club members took advantage of the chance to display some of their antique automobiles and people passing on the highway were drawn into the grounds by the display.
One section of the grounds was set aside for the demonstration of plowing with horses and the threshing of wheat. It never ceases to amaze you to see the strength of the horses pulling the plow through the ground. You don't find many people these days who can handle those horses the way Dan Bizaillion of Hardin, Illinois can, and he really put on a great show with his horses. Also in this section the members of the club were busy putting the wheat through the separator which is owned by the club. Still other men were busy baling the straw with the stationary baler. No matter how this job is done, it is still a hot one and the men did a marvelous job with their demonstrations with this equipment. In this day and age it is always amazing to see this equipment operate and even more amazing to see the enormous steam engines float gracefully and noiselessly around the grounds like a grand old lady at a ball! There were even more demonstrations, though. Herb Graham of Jerseyville was at his forge doing some blacksmithing. Fortunately he had found a nice shady spot to wield his hammer on the anvil working at one project or another during the warm afternoon. Homer Barrett, club president, of Jerseyville, had his fully restored Ottawa drag saw set up to saw some logs.
The children had plenty to see and do. If they tired of the machinery demonstrations, the crafts and flea markets, the Future Farmers of America Club had a petting zoo set up for them to enjoy. On Saturday afternoon there were games for them as well as a tractor pull of their own, pedal-style of course. The major activity on Sunday afternoon was the tractor pull, which lasted until dusk. Many of the adults retired to the bleachers and watched the well organized and attended tractor pull. The others spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the flea markets, demonstrations and some even toured the Hazel Dell mansion and enjoyed one of their delectable meals.
I know that the ladies who made the pies and iced tea, sandwiches, and ham and beans were tired after this long weekend but, all in all, everyone who participated in any way at the show agreed that it had been a marvelous weekend.
There are so many new plans for the coming year that I am sure we are eager to see what happens on the last weekend of August in 1992.