1993 Yesteryear Farm and Home Show Report

By Staff
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Harvey Nelson shows delighted spectators just how maneuverable his Waterloo Boy is.
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Marj Stengel supervises as Jim adjusts the 25 HP Witte.
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Ron Sherer demonstrates rope making.
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Mary Guerrie does the laundry.

Photos by Carolyn Brown 12201 Vermillion Road Longmont, Colorado
80501

August 13 through 15,1993 were fun days for old iron collectors
and interested persons along the front range of Colorado, as the
Yesteryear Farm and Home Show took place at the Boulder Co. Fair in
Longmont, Colorado. Folks from all parts of Colorado as well as out
of state seemed to enjoy themselves very much at our tenth
consecutive event. Shows such as ours are similar in many respects,
yet unique because of the particular set of events, the equipment
being displayed, the setting, and of course the exhibitors
themselves. All the individuals who come to exhibit their
‘toys’ bring their own unique style of restoration, their
own personal touches in the way they exhibit, and their own way of
interacting and participating in the show. If you’ll pardon the
abstraction, it’s almost as though the people themselves,
through their exhibits, are on display. With this in mind, I’d
like to introduce you to a few people who really make our show
special. Obviously, I can’t tell you about all our exhibitors,
so I apologize to those not mentioned in my ramblings.

The Yesteryear Farm and Home Show is a family event for the
Guerries. Jack and Mary Guerrie, along with daughter Elizabeth and
son Paul, join us each year with a very nice display of stationary
engines, Maytag washing machines and accessories. Dressed in her
‘granny suit,’ Mary washes clothes using the wringer
washing machines, and makes ice cream with an attachment for the
Maytag washer. She also brings a pedal grinder which was her
grandfather’s on the farm in Kansas, and a nicely restored l HP
Sattley engine which her father used in the ’30s to, operate a
potato sorter in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. Elizabeth, 20,
and Paul, 19; display engines they themselves have restored.
Elizabeth restored a 1934 Model 92 Maytag, and painted it decidedly
non-regulation colors the engine block is pink, the flywheel is
green, and the cylinder is yellow. It really is a very attractive
engine. Paul is more of a traditionalis this 1939 Model 72 Maytag
is painted standard colors, but is no less attractive. Jack does
not only run-of-the-mill rebuilding work, he also casts and
machines replacement parts for their engines. All their displays
are very nicely done.

Also on hand each year with some nicely restored stationary
engines is one of the co-organizers of our show, Harold Block.
Harold brings a collection of Hercules engines dating from 1917 to
1927, as well as several May tags he has restored. Harold built a
can crusher which he powers with one of the Hercules engines, and
visitors seem to never tire of watching it. Over a period of three
days, he crushes several huge plastic bags full of aluminum cans.
Even if the visitors don’t get tired of watching it, I’ll
bet Harold gets tired of feeding it. Harold’s display this year
was surrounded by many other nice specimens owned by various
individuals such as Paul Davis, Bert Herrera, Jim Kelly, and Chuck
Wallace, to name just a few.

It’s always good to see Slim and Ron Sherer arrive at our
show. These guys show up each year with what might be called a
travelling museum. Not only do they display numerous stationary
engines, they have tables full of interesting and diverse things to
see. They are kept busy demonstrating such things as waffle irons,
padlocks, handcuffs, antique hand tools of all descriptions, cherry
stoners, barbed wired samples, sad irons, gas and electric irons,
hay knives, saws, railroad lanterns, and so on. It’s folks like
Slim and Ron who make the show so appealing not just because they
have so many things to see, but because they are so outgoing and
willing to talk to visitors and demonstrate just how all these
things work. Ron is shown demonstrating rope making machines to
interested visitors as Slim looks on. (Slim was smart enough to
stay in the shade.)

 Jerome DeBacker, a farmer in early 20th century Boulder
County, bought a 1907 Avery under mounted steam traction engine for
use on his farm, and it was used steadily until finally being
‘retired’ in the ’40s. Although it then sat idle for
many years, Mr. DeBacker’s descendants kept the machine in the
family, and in 1988 they undertook to restore it. The restoration
was a family affair, and many of Jerome’s grandchildren and
great-grandchildren took part.

This traction engine is without a doubt the most impressive
machine at our show its immense size seems to captivate all who see
it. A number of people have remarked that it looks like a railroad
locomotive that doesn’t need tracks. Many people, too, are
surprised how quietly it runsit seems anything that large must
surely be very noisy. Actually, the only time it is noisy is when
they demonstrate its whistle. If Jerome DeBacker were alive,
I’m sure he would be proud of what his family accomplished.

Stuart Anderson, a member of the DeBacker family, recently added
another steamer to the collection by acquiring a 1917 model 40 HP
Case traction engine from Creston, Iowa. This machine was brought
to the family farm outside Boulder, Colorado, where it was torn
down and totally rebuilt in the years 1991 and 1992. It was
completed just in time for the 1992 show. The DeBackers also
display ‘regular’ antiques such as Farmalls, John Deeres,
and so on. Just as they pitch in and help one another as a family,
the DeBackers are quick to join in our show and take an active
part. Our show just wouldn’t be the same without them.

Bill, Jim, and Marj Stengel team up to bring a nice variety of
antiques each year. They have several tractors Case and Fordson, as
well as Gibson tractors which were manufactured right here in
Longmont, Colorado, in years pastmore on that later. Jim also is
the owner of another very popular item, a 25 HP Witte stationary
engine. This engine has a very distinctive sounda commanding WOOF!
kachunk, kachunk, kachunk! at a rate of approximately 150 RPM. This
engine was made in 1926 and was used to operate a rock crusher at a
nickel mine in the mountains of Colorado. It was abandoned when the
mine closed and sat almost 40 years before Jim acquired and
restored it in 1989. It is a single cylinder 10′ x 14′
engine and weighs 4,000 pounds. Jim’s brother, Bill, is a
surveyor, and he finds some of their goodies during surveys. He
finds them and Jim and his wife Marj acquire and restore them. Marj
is always on hand, too, to help with their display as well as help
out with the show.

Harvey Nelson is one of the founders of our show. The first year
of the show, there were 11 tractors on display, and eight of them
belonged to Harvey. He has been active in the show each year, and
is also our major exhibitor. He and his wife Charlotte are our show
superintendents, and are very active in promoting not just the
show, but in creating an increased awareness and interest in our
agricultural history. Harvey yearly displays somewhere between 18
and 24 tractors, depending on how many trips back and forth he
feels like making. Harvey grew up on a farm, and is now a farm
equipment dealer. He acquired an interest in old iron early on, and
has spent a number of years collecting and restoring an assortment
of very nice machines. His pride and joy is a 1917 Waterloo Boy
Model N tractor he found on a farm at nearby Lyons, Colorado. When
he acquired it, the Waterloo Boy needed total restoration. It was
complete, but very run down. Harvey spent a whole year restoring
it, and as you can see in the photo, the result is well worth the
effort.

Rex Jarrett is about the busiest person I know. He is an airline
pilot, and is typically gone for days at a time. When he gets home
for a few days, one might think he would sit on the couch and
vegetate. Not hardly. In his spare time, he is the leader of a
bluegrass band named the ‘Bluegrass Cornpickers.’ This
group is very popular along the front range region of Colorado, and
they play most weekends that Rex is home. His wife Claire operates
the sound board for the band, as well as keeping track of the music
and the bookings. When by chance they aren’t playing music on
the weekend, they go sightseeing around the state. And when they
aren’t travelling, Rex is busy restoring. The Jarretts have
restored a 1951 Farmall H which came from the Jarrett family farm
in Indiana, a 1918 Model T stationary power engine, and a 1910
Associated Hired Man acquired locally a couple years ago. Rex
finished the restoration of the Hired Man just in time for this
year’s show, and it is a beauty! The Jarretts display their
engines and tractor at the show, and of course the ‘Bluegrass
Cornpickers’ also perform daily at our show. As if all this
weren’t enough, Rex is also Master of Ceremonies at our
show.

Distinguished guests this year included Mr. Fred Wilson, mayor
of Long-mont, Colorado, who attended our show and drove Rex’s
Farmall in the antique tractor parade. He looks right at home on a
Farmall. Also present was Mrs. Gladys Gibson, wife of the late
Wilber Gibson who was the founder and president of the Gibson
Tractor Company. These tractors were manufactured here in Longmont,
Colorado, in the ’40s and ’50s. In addition to the Gibson
line, the company opened a manufacturing facility in nearby
Berthoud, Colorado, where they built a small tractor called
PowerFlex. The company was sold after Mr. Gibson’s death in
1959, and the new owner transferred the company out of state. Few
tractors were built after the company changed hands, and the
company soon closed its doors forever. We had several Gibson
tractors present at our show, and had them grouped together in the
display area for Mrs. Gibson to see. At the beginning of our
antique tractor parade, Rex made a short presentation honoring Mrs.
Gibson. She was thrilledshe had no idea there was such an interest
in Gibson tractors. We hope to have her back again in the future.
Incidentally, there is talk of hosting the annual convention of the
Gibson Tractor Club at our show in 1996, which will be the 50th
anniversary of the founding of the company. We’ll see what
develops.

The 1993 show was great, and we have high hopes for the show in
1994. 1994 show dates are August 12-14- For additional show
information, contact the writer of this article, or Harvey and
Charlotte Nelson, 7607 Hygiene Rd., Hygiene, CO 80533, phone (303)
776-5171.

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