Biggest 'Little' engine show

McCormick Machines

Content Tools

Proprietors Country Relics Village 3280 Briggs Woods Road, Stanhope, Iowa 50246

Model enthusiasts gather at Country Relics Village near Stanhope, Iowa, during the annual Biggest Little Engine Show the last weekend in June.

The whir of model engines, be they air, gas or steam, brought much pleasure, reminiscing, and camaraderie among the exhibitors and spectators.

Exhibitors from across the Midwest and from as far away as Arizona enjoyed the delightful weekend and hospitality of Varlen and Fern Carlson, proprietors of Country Relics Village located on the Carlsons' family farm in the heart of central Iowa.

Exhibitors and vendors of antique flea market and crafts were afforded the luxury of camping with their exhibits. Friday evening the exhibitors and followers of the Rovers Band from Boone enjoyed an evening of old time snappy listening music, kettle corn and home-made ice cream. Saturday night the exhibitors and vendors enjoyed the traditional appreciation barbecue and accordion music renditions by Dixie, provided by Country Relics Village

Ron Christensen of Carlisle, Iowa, demonstrates his model Case baler for the delight of Calvin and Alayna Carlson.

Bob and Rita Sours of Stanfield, Arizona, have model engines, will travel. This was their display at the 1998 'Biggest Little Engine Show.'

Saturday brought good weather, permitting everyone to enjoy the biggest show day with the spectacular scale model exhibits and the 14-building Country Relics Village complex from the early 1900s. The complex includes the original Stanhope Depot built in 1882, and a full-sized McCormick Machines Implement dealership. The little village and homestead portion of the complex is unlike any other, due to the downsized buildings including: a two-room 'Baker' house; country bar with hayloft; the one-room Bitter Creek school complete with teacher, students and the outhouse; the Country Store with laden shelves and the Post Office; the little Saratoga Church and the recreated wedding of 1906; the Levine Livery and Blacksmith Shop boasting just right sized horses and modes of early transportation; and the combination sales, repairs and service Stark Brothers Implement and Garage with its car showroom of pedal cars/trucks, implement sales and service area with gas pump out front. The one-half to two-thirds scale 'little' village and homestead is tastefully detailed with authentic children's furnishings, salesmen's samples and toys.

A big hit during the show is a visit to the Hove & Mathre McCormick Machines dealership and a visit with Christian Carlson, the animated, intelligent dummy

A child's dream come true and an adult's paradise, the population of 103 dummies and visitor participation brings life to the little village and is the perfect complement to the annual 'Biggest Little Engine Show.'

Plan your 1999 summer show circuit to include the 8th annual, all-scale model show at Country Relics Village. Meet your family, friends and fellow model enthusiasts at Stanhope, Iowa, on June 26 and 27 for another weekend of relaxation sharing your model treasures in the ideal setting of Country Relics 'little' village. Pack your car, plan a weekend without cooking and enjoy the home cooking of the Country Relics Village food concession for the best ever--hotdogs, chili, taco salads, ice cream, etc.

Country Relics Village awaits your exploration; the exhibitors look forward to visiting with you about their handmade working models, and the antique and craft marketers look forward to your browsing their wares. Hope to see you all.