180 Kible Street, Bluff ton, Ohio 45817.
The first annual Steam, Gas Engine and Tractor Show of the Northwest Ohio Antique Machinery Association, Inc., held Friday, Saturday, Sunday, August 4, 5, 6, 1972 in Bluffton, Ohio, 'attracted over 5,000 people for the colorful event.
Antique machinery buffs came from Michigan, Indiana and Ohio for the 3 day meet on the 52 acre village farm. The show grounds, which flank Interstate -75 drew many motorists who were intrigued by the huffing and puffing of antique steam engines, threshing, log sawing and wide variety of exhibits crowding the parade grounds. Many camper trailers were present for the three day activity.
'The show far exceeded my expectations', said president Robert Flick of Bluffton, Ohio. The show made a profit of several thousand dollars, which will be used to expand the 1973 show to be held on the first weekend in August each year.
Activities included shingle mill operation, rides for all ages in an authentic Conestoga wagon, garden tractor pulling contest under supervision of the Northern Ohio Tractor Pullers Association, old-time threshing with steam engines and ancient tractors taking turns hooking up to the belt, parade of all antique machinery daily, log sawing, food tent operated by the parish members of St. Marys Catholic Church, dozens of flea market exhibits and antiques, wide range of antique gasoline engines. Dave Morgan and his Alcove Band entertained and were enthusiastically received.
Especially interesting were the huge steam engines and tractors and ancient gas engines in action. Model engines of all kinds were operating miniature saw mills, light plants, and separators and other miniature exhibits. Many exhibits were housed in tents.
E. F. 'Gene' Schmidt, vice president of the association, displayed a Wallis Bear tractor of the year 1912--the only tractor of this model in existence today. Schmidt is an avid antique machinery enthusiast and is collecting the entire line of Wallis Bear machinery. He already has nearly a half dozen models.
Berdell Huber, secretary, says the Northwestern Ohio Antique Machinery Association has over 300 members and is rapidly expanding.
Bluffton, Ohio is located in Allen County and is a central position from major antique machinery shows in the 3 state area-Portland, Indiana; Rushville, Indiana; Elwood, Indiana; Fort Wayne, Indiana; London, Ohio; Wauseon, Ohio; Cadiz, Ohio; Mansfield, Ohio.
Officers of the Northwest Ohio Antique Machinery Association are Robert Flick, President; E. F. Schmidt, Vice President; Berdell Huber, Secretary all of Bluffton, Ohio; Richard Moyer, Mt. Cory, Treasurer; Ralph Horstman, Delphos, Ohio, Trustee; Howard Crozier, Ada, Ohio, Trustee; Merly Higbee, Raw-son, Ohio, Trustee.