Homestead Olde Tyme Power Show

Antique gas machine

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62 Memorial Ct., Highland, Illinois 62249

Steam engines, antique tractors, stationary engines, and horse-drawn implements will be an even bigger part of the second annual Homestead Olde Tyme Power Show in Highland, Illinois, August 11-13.

Located on an historic farm where the ground will be worked, the wheat harvested and threshed the old-fashioned way, the southwestern Illinois show will be only 35 miles from St. Louis on Interstate 70, and 17 miles north of Interstate 64 on Route 160. Knowing what crowd-pleasers they are, Don Seifried of Highland and the show committee already are planning more demonstrations and more accessible displays as well as wider participation.

The show is held at the Latzer Homestead, where Louis Latzer began life as son of a pioneer dairy farmer and became founder and president of the Pet Milk Company. The house, grounds and 40 acres of wheat fields now are owned by the Highland Historical Society. The power show there is the outgrowth of a threshing demonstration during the town's Sesquicentennial in 1987. Still sponsored by the society, the power shows are involving much more of the community and participation is expanding into more of southern Illinois and Missouri.

For last year's show and demonstrations, there were eight steam engines, more than 30 old tractors and about 20 antique gasoline motors. A team of Belgian horses hauled the hay bundles up to the Nichols and Shepard separator in an old hay wagon. The separator had been restored by the late Don Weder of Highland.

Several steam engines took part in the actual threshing; these included a 1910 Gaar-Scott of the Weder family and a 1902 Keck-Gonnerman of Joe Graziana of Wood River. Tractors on display and in the parade included the 1916 Waterloo Boy of Bob Berberich of Lebanon and the 1916 Mogul of Kenny Bohanon of the same area. Gordon Kamper of Freeburg gave a plowing demonstration with his huge 1922 Aultman-Taylor tractor with the eight-foot wheels.

Last year Bill Alexander, whose oldest gas engine on display was a 1915-16 Fairbanks-Morse, hitched up one of his engines to run an antique cider press. This summer, engines will be demonstrating not only cider making, but also a shingle mill, burr mill, antique water pumps, log sawing and other operations.

More horsemen and women from the area also will be participating. Demonstrations of horse-drawn farming will be given by people who still farm with horses.

Again this year, old farm implements and memorabilia will be displayed in a restored barn built in the 1850s. There will be tours of the restored turn-of-the-century house. A large show-sale of pioneer arts and crafts will be held on the spacious lawn in the deep shade of the ancient trees. A 'flea market' also is planned.

There will plenty of food, lemonade, iced tea and soda for participants and spectators. Ground will be provided for primitive camping, and water is available.

For more information, call Don Seifried in the evenings at (618) 654-2581.