Land Between the Lakes Show

By Staff
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The author, known as 'The Puzzle Man,' delighted showgoers with his wooden puzzles.
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The Puzzle Man Colorado Springs, Colorado

Photos by Johnie R. McElroy, Route #4, Box 49 Kevil, Kentucky

The very first steam and gas engine show ever to be held on the
Tennessee Valley Authority’s beautiful ‘Land Between the
Lakes’ area of western Kentucky and Tennessee took place over
the Mother’s Day weekend, 1989, at the famous Empire Farm in an
absolutely pristine and idyllic meadow surrounded by towering oaks
and hickories on the shores of the Cumberland River’s Lake

A superb turnout of some 45 engine exhibitors, representing
eight different clubs from the surrounding quad-state area,
provided an interesting, informative and colorful display of
antique power on the early 20th century American farm.

Rarities and unusual engines easily recognized by the casual
observer included Baxter Wallace’s 3? HP Brown Marvel, one of
only three known in existence. This upright air-cooled engine with
its extremely intricate valving and porting mechanism, was the
featured cover engine of the October ’88 GEM.

Chugging along during the entire 2 day show, at some 100 R.P.M.,
never missing a lick, was an 8 HP Geiser sideshaft, in beautifully
original unrestored condition, certainly proving once more that not
all engines must be immaculately painted and polished to be
advantageously shown.

A quick stroll among the 100 or so (plus) engines on exhibit
turned up a 2? HP Sta-Rite, a 1? HP Bohon, a 4? HP kerosene Olds,
built by Seager, as well as a neat little 5/8
HP Nelson Brothers. Unusual, perhaps in this part of the country,
was a 5 HP Canadian-built MacLeod, while two rather scarce
pre-water-pump 2 HP International Famouses were also in

Rumbling around the grounds, pulling hay wagons and giving kids
of all ages a thrill, was an 18-48 Keck Gonnerman steamer, owned by
Bob Cantrell, as well as Mike Kilian’s ol’ Rumely Model H
Oil Pull.

All in all, it was difficult to believe that this was the first
ever TVA show, so well organized and attended it was, at least by
exhibitors. The future bodes full promise, however, of better
things to come. Stay tuned to us!

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