A Trip Into the Past Through ‘OLD TIME POWER’

By Staff
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Photographs by Charles Greiner and Bonnie Hall.

R.R. I, Box 42 Stanhope, Iowa 50246

Nostalgia or educational history…The Central Hawkeye Gas
Engine and Tractor Association’s Old Time Power and Machinery
Show is both. Nostalgia for the ‘Old Timers’ as they
remember when, and historical education for the young and middle
aged as they study, learn and enjoy the preservation of Iowa’s
past.

Truly a ‘Festival of Iowa’, the event will give visitors
an opportunity to ‘Come Explore the Heartland’. The
show’s many special events are sure to impress and please young
and old alike. Huge displays of power of the past steam engines,
oil and gasoline tractors and gasoline engines of almost every
size, description and make can be seen in all their glory in
working displays, i.e., shelling and grinding corn, making veneer
or shingles, or washing clothes. The Association features a
specific make of tractor, and a specific make of gas engine at each
show. The 1984 show features are Massey Harris tractors and
engines. Each brand attempts to out-show the other by trying to
exhibit the entire line. Memorabilia displays related to the
featured brand are also included. Exhibitors receive plaques and/or
ribbons for participation.

Many long hours are spent restoring the tractors and engines.
Most are salvaged from junk yards, groves or dumps as rusty iron
pieces of ‘frozen’ working parts. The precious finds are
tenderly and patiently restored, disassembled piece by piece,
cleaned, sand blasted, primed, painted and reassembled. Even an
unappreciative wife or mother gets a thrill of pride when after two
or three years of parts here and there, and grease on everything,
the last part is replaced (no pieces left over). Fueled and oiled,
fingers crossed and holding breath and mouth just right, the first
attempt is made to start the machineit fires and runs. Neighbors
for miles around learn of this exciting accomplishment from the
shrieks of delight coming from grown men. With a little fine tuning
the treasured machine will be ready for the 9th annual Old Time
Power and Machinery Show.

1983 was a milestone for the show with completion of restoration
and installation of the 1880 steam powered sawmill. Bernard Cline,
Charlie Smith and Randy Jones completed the restoration and now
operate this intriguing display throughout the three day event. A
newly erected storage building houses four permanent stationary
engines, special miniature engine displays, and antiquity craft
demonstrations. With the revitalization of the quilting craze, a
special ladies’ feature for 1984 will be a quilt show. Hundreds
of quilts will be proudly exhibited by quilters and collectors.

A parade is held on Friday and Saturday at 6 p.m. and on Sunday
at 2 p.m. Steamers, antique tractors, antique cars and trucks from
the displays encircle the grounds as proud owners fire-up and give
spectators a real look and thrill. Other special activities include
tractor and car turtle races, antique tractor pulls, threshing,
baling, weaving, spinning, carving and other crafts. Antique cars
and trucks from a Model T to an I H Auto Wagon are displayed; the
Cast Iron Seat Association national convention is held. Belt Buckle
Collectors, a Farm Toy Show, and a quality outdoor antique market
bring many perennial patrons to enjoy their special interests.
Activities throughout the 3 day weekend give show goers plenty to
do.

Hawkeye Antique Acres provides the food concession. Hearty Iowa
meals are prepared by some of Iowa’s fabulous, home-style cooks
beginning with a breakfast of pancakes, country sausage, and
scrambled eggs to soft ice cream and popcorn. The food concession
is usually open from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Camping and electricity
are available on the grounds.

The Association is a non-profit organization with the purposes
‘to promote the collection, restoration, preservation and
exhibition of gasoline and oil engines, gas and steam tractors,
power driven farm machinery and any articles of historical
value’. Hawkeye Antique Acres, the home of the Club and show
grounds for annual events, is located 12 miles West of Des Moines
and mile South of Exit 117 of Interstate 80 (Waukee/Booneville).
The Old Time Power and Machinery Show is held the third full
weekend in July (July 20, 21, and 22, 1984). 10,000 plus visitors
annually attend this nationally advertised event.

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