HAMPDEN

By Staff
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Bottom; A visitor at the engine show investigates Bob
Upham’s homemade ‘weepup.’ Cylinder is from an air
compressor and flywheels are gates valve handles. In the background
is a 1928 Peerless.

About a year ago in a small town called Hampden, Massachusetts,
plans were being made for the celebration of the town’s
centennial. At this time, my husband, who’d been afflicted with
‘gas engine mania’ for about three years, decided no
centennial celebration could be complete without an engine show.
So, after receiving the okay from the select men and the promise,
of support from the local volunteer fire department, IT began. The
IT I refer to was months of: ‘Christine, did you mail the show
announcement to GEM; could you make some posters?’
‘Christine, would you mind painting some signs?’ ‘And,
oh, Christine, could you drive into the city and pick up the
souvenir buttons and exhibitors ribbons?’

Needless to say, these were months when I emptied the trash,
fixed the broken window, and did all the little chores I normally
had help with. But, after all, what could I expect? Dave had an 8
HP Challenge (that looked like a refugee from the local junk yard)
to get ready for the show and miracles are not accomplished over
night! Yes, there were times during all this fuss and preparation
when I almost wished my husband had never fallen in love with that
first old engine. (Perish the thought!) But, with a little
patience, prayer and plain old hard work, the morning of the engine
show arrived with the sun smiling and the Lion’s Club ladies
all set and raring to go with tons of hot dogs, hamburgers and
other goodies.

At 8:10 the first engines of the day arrived; my husband’s
112 HP Domestic and 8 HP Challenge; Vern Rodimon’s two
Domestics, S HP Bull Dog and Alamo Blue Line; and Lee Pedessen came
from Long Island with two immaculately restored Economies. Then
came truck after truck carrying the precious cargoes, until 46
exhibitors had signed in, set up and started their engines.

Of great interest to the spectators was Charlie Bristol’s
International Titan which once powered the cider mill up at
Kibbe’s farm in town. Many local people recalled hearing it run
in the Fall when cider was made.

Leonard Harrington of Monson and Bruce Jackson of Hampden each
brought their saw rigs and worked all day cutting their cordwood
into stove lengths.

The Bates family from Athol, Massachusetts, were there with an
impressive collection of old woodworking tools and most interesting
demonstrations. David Bates spent the day using an adze and hewing
a perfect beam from a 10′ pine log, while Oren Bates made a
water pipe using a hand auger, just the way they used to do it! So
many truly nice people helped make the show a success.

The air was resplendent with put BANG as several hundred people
strolled from display to display, absorbed, interested and asking
questions or just smiling, chuckling and remembering. Everyone was
impressed and it was actually a little sad when a bit after 4:00
the last engine departed and the school ground was just a school
ground again, and not the scene of a happy hubbub of earlier in the
day. In fact, though worn out and weary, Dave and l sat back
smiling. Every minute of the past months was made worth the effort
just in knowing that it really was a nice show!

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Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines