’92 Midwest Reunion Review

By Staff
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An unusual occurence took place in the gas engine area during the 1992 Old Threshers Reunion. Sheriff Glen Hamm (left) of the North Village Gang rounded up a couple of mean looking convicts and put them to work crushing rock in the gas engine area. Many v
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A record breaking 989 gas engines were on display at the 1992 Old Threshers Reunion in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. The Reunion is well known for the largest gathering of steam traction engines in the United States. The large gas engine and antique tractor display
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New for Old Threshers Reunion, the Kiddie Tractor Pull was very successful. Boys and girls took their turn to 'pull' the weight down the 'track.' (Photo by Jim Adams).

Midwest Old Threshers Threshers Road Mt. Pleasant, Iowa
52641

Despite forecasts predicting scattered thunderstorms and some
actual rainfall, the 1992 Old Threshers Reunion, in Mt. Pleasant,
Iowa, was very successful. Crowds were only slightly below the
event’s last year’s average.

An early summer fire that destroyed a storage building filled
with reunion-related equipment and materials, left association
officials concerned as to whether materials could be replaced in
time for the annual event. But with the help of Old Threshers’
dedicated staff and many volunteers, all reunion areas were in full
operation. Volunteer support focused in many areas with
construction of all screening panels used by food groups,
assembling oak gates for use in the horse barns, the building of a
food concession building, and the donation of time and equipment.
In addition, many area individuals donated used appliances and the
Iowa Franchise Association donated many pieces of commercial
equipment to the organization.

‘Old Threshers has always touted a strong volunteer
resource, but this year proved the actual potential of our
volunteers,’ said administrator, Lennis Moore. ‘It seemed
like no project was too small. Every project had ample numbers of
people ready, willing and able to role up their sleeves and get the
task completed. Old Threshers realized a dramatic increase in an
already strong volunteer support group with many new faces added to
the roster. This carried over to the reunion with increased support
in all areas,’ Moore continued.

All main exhibit areas witnessed an increase in the quality of
exhibited units. The traction steam area developed some new ideas
and better organized existing demonstrations. The stationary steam
area continued to expand its lectures and demonstrations while many
volunteers were videotaped as they recalled their earlier
involvement with steam powerhouses.

The gas engine area featured the engines manufactured by the
Hercules Gas Engine Company of Evansville, Indiana. Exhibitors
brought in 56 Economy engines, with a total of over 989 engines on
display at the reunion.

Tractor exhibitors brought in over 300 gas tractors, with many
of them participating in the antique tractor pulls on Friday and
Saturday. A newly introduced kiddie pedal pull provided children
with an event tailor-made to their size. Each child received a
participation ribbon.

Antique car exhibitors presented wonderfully restored
automobiles and trucks in top working order. Car volunteers hauled
participants to the 50th Anniversary Celebration, the Old Threshers
Award Ceremony, and assisted in shuttling people from place to
place on the main grounds. The car area also saw the addition of a
seven passenger Stanley steamer.

Labor Day rain forced the cancellation of the ever popular
invitational horse pull. However, through the reunion, horse
exhibitors demonstrated the newly restored 1888 Case separator and
power, the saw mill, and did baling demonstrations that included a
halter class show in the Log Village, as part of the expanded
programming for Explorer Post 1846. The Log Village was a literal
beehive of activity, with continuous historic presentations
including weddings, dances, funerals, and authentic craft
demonstrations.

The Midwest Electric Railway served as the main campground/Log
Village shuttle.

The newly acquired Boston PCC cars donated by Tom Boland from
Hannibal, Missouri, ran in tandem as they efficiently carried
reunion visitors.

Reunion visitors enjoyed the free entertainment stages, the
country music grandstand shows, and the delicious food prepared by
area church and civic groups. Visitors purchased many crafts and
antiques from reunion vendors.

‘Certainly the weather was a major factor in the slight
attendance decrease,’ said Moore. ‘But, the 1992 Old
Threshers Reunion scored high marks with an increase in programming
from many areas, a strong feeling of cooperation between
participating groups, and a renewed dedication to the mission of
the association: ‘preserving our agricultural heritage in a
modern world.’ ‘

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