Massachusetts Club Seeks New Home

By Staff

In June of 1976, six engine and machinery ‘bugs’ got
together on a porch to discuss formation of an antique engine and
machinery club. They decided that day to form a club and call it
The Pulleys & Flywheels Association. The six founders, Bruce
Dexter, Ellsworth Songer, Doug Johnson, Roland Jean, Ed Berquist,
and Herman Manson, made their first public showing in July at the
New Salem Old Home Days Show. The exhibit was a smash hit.

The club grew to 14 members in merely two months and voted to
change the name to Central Massachusetts Steam, Gas, and Machinery
Association (CMSGMA). After successfully exhibiting at many fairs
and shows, the club found a larger home at the Orange Airport in
Orange, Massachusetts. Held every year on the last weekend in June,
the show has grown over the years to the limits of the available
field. But now, CMSGM has a unique opportunity to purchase a parcel
of land to have a permanent home and to take the evergrowing show
to the next level.

The new land is an old farm located in Pelham, Massachusetts.
About 15 miles south of Orange, the new location has easy access
off a state highway and is centrally located in the middle of the
state. There are about 40 acres of cleared land, and 40 acres of
woodland, giving a total of 80 acres.

Our goal for the new property is to create a type of show that
is generally not available in New England. Most shows in New
England, including the current show at Orange, have lots of engine
and tractor displays brought in by exhibitors, but few if any
permanent displays of larger equipment running, such as shingle
mills, lumber mills, and the like. Currently there is no space for
working tractor displays, such as plowing demonstrations and
tractor pulls.

Well, we plan to change that. Our new show will have those
things, and many more. There is a lot more we can do when the club
owns the property! We hope to have tractor games, tractor pulls,
demonstrations, and a vintage line-shaft machine shop (we were just
given a bunch of equipment to make this happen!) We also hope to
eventually have buildings for large engine and other antique
machinery displays. The club also owns two large steam engines. We
hope someday to build a structure that can allow these engines, and
perhaps others, to run on steam again.

We will offer greatly upgraded food service, as well as
entertainment. Space for a flea and craft fair will ensure that
family members with interests other than ‘old iron’ will
have plenty to do.

The town of Pelham itself is a small, old New England town.
There are many historic buildings here including the town hall,
which is the oldest town hall in continual service in the U.S. The
property is less than a quarter mile from the town hall.

There are several historic buildings on the property, some of
great historical significance to central Massachusetts.

The first is the Kingman Tavern, relocated from the Quabin
reservoir basin. Around the turn of the 20th century, several towns
in Central Massachusetts were evacuated and flooded to form the
Quabin Reservoir, a supply of drinking water for Boston. When the
area was evacuated, many of the buildings were sold and moved to
higher ground. The tavern was converted into a garage and a shop
many years ago, but the club has some pictures of the interior of
the tavern in its original state. There are even photos of the last
party held there by the townspeople before the town was evacuated.
We hope to someday restore the tavern to serve as a centerpiece for
our museum.

The next building is a beautiful barn, also moved from the
Quabin. The barn is in wonderful shape and is an excellent example
of early New England farm architecture. It is a classic farm/hay
barn with a nice large loft and plenty of room below. Attached is a
large lean-to of modern construction to be used as a storage area
for equipment for the show.

There is also a small woodshop and the remains of a blacksmith
shop. The woodshop contains a variety of early line-shaft driven,
woodworking tools. The farm had been a chicken farm for many years
and the woodshop was used to make the cages for the chickens. The
blacksmith shop is quite dilapidated, but still has some of its
original tools.

In order to make this happen, we need to raise funds to purchase
the land (or at least make the down payment), clear the land, and
make the necessary improvements to convert the property from a farm
into a practical fairgrounds. If you would like to help, we would
appreciate any help you can give.

All money raised is put into a trust account and will be
returned if the land is not purchased.

CMSGMA is a non-profit organization recognized by the state of
Massachusetts (with Federal approval pending.) If you would like to
help, please contact any of the following:

CMSGMA, c/o Bill Haxton, 38 Joe Jenny Road, Oxford, MA 01540;
Tel: (508) 393-3330, Eves (508) 987-8336.

Mike O’Malley, Tel: (978) 772-2005, Eves (978) 486-8230;
Bill Lopoulos, Tel: (978) 649-7879. Or visit the fund-raising
homepage at: www.cmsgma.org or e-mail:fund@cmsgma.org.

Our mission has been and continues to be to build on the skills
and talents of its membership to provide energy and resources to
accomplish these goals.:

1: To promote and encourage the salvage, restoration, and
preservation of early engines, tractors, machinery and their
related equipment.

2: To promote and encourage public awareness and interest in
early engines and equipment both within and without this
corporation.

3: To publicly display the aforementioned early engines and
related equipment at various exhibitions for the education and
entertainment of the public in general.

Hope to see you at the show!

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Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines