613 8th Avenue Charles City, Iowa 50616
1990 was another good year for the Cedar Valley Engine Club. We
had good attendance all three days in spite of rain on Sunday night
which made it a little disagreeable Monday morning for a while. It
was muddy and slippery underfoot, but the people came anyway and
seemed to have a good time.
The featured tractors this year were Hart-Parr and Oliver. We
had a good showing of them. Some came from quite a long distance.
Of course, there are a lot of local Olivers and Hart-Parrs around,
too. Some friends of the club brought their Oliver tractors out to
show with us. One of these tractors was very rare-an Oliver 80
diesel. Very few of them are around, as there weren’t very many
of them built in the first place. It was quite an attraction.
Of course at the show, we have a lot of different brands of
tractors. We have Allis Chalmers, International, and Case
represented. We don’t have too many Case tractors, but we do
have a rare 12-25 Case with a 2-cylinder op posed engine. When
it’s running you can hear it all over the grounds. We have a
parade each day with the steam engines and other tractors. We
don’t parade everything, though. This year, it was led by the
30-60 Hart-Parr since we were featuring Hart-Parr. We have a pretty
good variety of steam engines, too. We have a Case, a Rumely, a
Port Huron, a Russell, and a scale model return-flue Huber. They
all do a good job on the saw mill.
We also have an experimental tractor. It’s been down to the
Living History Farms in central Iowa. I can remember seeing one
when it was first built. It has a four-cylinder engine and was
designed to burn aviation gasoline. The high compression engine
must have at least 100 octane gasoline if you are going to make it
work hard. It was built on an Oliver 88 chassis, and the Ethyl
Corporation had a part in the development of it. Before this
tractor was fully developed, the diesels came out. The diesel
engine was a big improvement over the gasoline engine because it
runs so much cheaper. The Historical Society here in Charles City
owns it now and they allow us to have it out at the show. It
attracted a lot of interest.
We have a 30-60 Hart-Parr that belongs to the Historical Society
and sits in a display case all year. They let us take it out to the
show every year, and every year it seems to run a little better.
They really had it running good this year.
There was a lot of lumber sawed at this show. We have two saw
mills, one smaller and one larger. The small saw mill can only saw
about a 10-inch diameter log. It is usually powered by a ? scale
undermounted Avery by Roger Burns from Racine, Minnesota. We’ve
had it at our show almost every year since the show has been
a-going. It’s a good engine and is a good attention getter.
We also have the shingle mill which we use to make a lot of
cedar shingles to give away. Then we have a little scale model Case
steam engine we put on the buzz saw. It is one of the real small
engines. It runs well and it can really saw wood. We generally have
some cedar limb wood and saw little blocks and give them to
My boys have a two-hole cornsheller powered by my Waterloo Boy
eight-horse engine. People tell me this is a rare engine because
about 1914 they increased the speed a little and rated it up at 9
HP. I don’t know what year it was built, I have never looked up
the serial number. I am not sure when the sheller was built, but it
is made entirely of wood, except for the moving parts.
We also have a corn-shredder. Every year, one of the club
members cuts some corn fodder and puts it inside his shed. Then he
brings it to the show and runs it through his corn-shredder.
There is also threshing done. We didn’t get to thresh all of
our oats this year. We had loaded most of the bundles onto wagons
and had them parked inside, but before we could get the rest of
them loaded, it started raining. So at the time of the show, we had
two big loads of bundles that were too wet to thresh. We ran them
through an ensilage cutter and one of the members took them home
and threw them out to his hogs and let them pick out what they
could. That was better than throwing them away.
There is a good-sized flea market where you can find antiques,
collectibles, old tools, and handcrafted items. There is a large
display of stationary engines with many of them running. Some of
them are used to power a washing machine and a water pump.
We made quite a few improvements this year. One big improvement
was an addition to the kitchen. When the kitchen staff tells you
that they need more space, then you need to make a bigger kitchen.
Ray Stayner supervised that project with some help from various
other club members.
We also put in a water system. Some people said it wouldn’t
work the way we did it, but it does. It’s an old-fashioned
water system with a force-head pump. A force-head pump has a seal
at the top of the pump mechanism and is attached to a pump-jack
powered by an electric motor. This allows it to pump water to an
overhead tank. Some big timbers were cut on the sawmill and we
built a tower 10 feet high. We mounted a 1400 gallon plastic tank
on the top and ran some plastic pipe underground, to various
locations. We also installed a’ small water heater and a sink
in the kitchen. Now we have cleaner water for the steam engines and
it is more convenient for everyone to use. We still have the old
concrete stock tank, but it always seemed to get dirt in it.
We are hoping for a good show. We’re going to feature the
John Deere line of machinery for 1991. We hope to have a good
turnout. The boys who are John Deere collectors in our club are
getting more John Deere’s and are working on them and fixing
them up. There will probably be a good showing of them. Hope you
can all come and see them.
We have a good video tape of our 1990 show and we will loan it
out to people if they will pay the postage both ways. If they want
to give a little donation to the club, we would appreciate that,
too. The 1991 show will be Labor Day weekend again, Saturday,
Sunday and Monday.
The show is located seven miles west of Charles City on Highway
14. Charles City is where the Hart-Parr was invented. The first
ones were made here and the factory is still running. Of course, it
is White Farm Equipment now, and the final assembly is not here
anymore, it’s at Coldwater, Ohio. The gear boxes and all the
castings are made here and they build a lot of parts for other
companies, too. We hope you can come and enjoy our show.