Gas Engine Magazine

Northeast Iowa Farm and Antique Association Show

By Staff

RR #1, Box 169, Strawberry Point, IA 50276

The Sixth Annual Northeast Iowa Farm and Antique Association
Show was scheduled to be held at the Plagman Barn on September 18,
19 and 20, 1987 but on the 16 and 17 the Guttenberg-Garber area
received about 5 inches of rain turning our show grounds into a sea
of mud.

We all hoped and prayed for dry and sunshiny weather for the 18,
19 and 20th. Since we were rained out the first 2 days of last
year, we were hoping our luck would change this year. But according
to Murphy’s Law if you drop a piece of buttered bread on the
floor, it will land butter side down and that was the way the
weather turned out for us.

On Friday the 18th we had invited the neighboring elementary
school children to our show. Several districts accepted, bringing
their teachers for a few hours break from their school studies. The
weather was overcast and a light mist was falling most of the day
but we managed to do a little threshing, sawing, shredding and

The women held up their end of the show by giving the household
demonstrations of churning butter, making homemade soap, homemade
bread, apple butter and apple cider, besides washing clothes with
an old washing machine, having a furnished log cabin and a country

It was all most humorous watching the teachers trying to get the
children rounded up and back on the buses to return to their

When Saturday morning came we were blessed with more clouds and
a steady drizzle all day long adding to our now very deep sea of
mud so we were not able to do much but try to stay dry. The flea
market people were literally out of business.

We had planned to do plowing with horses and other related
demonstrations. We were unable to do them due to the mud. We
couldn’t have the antique tractor pull either.

Sunday the 20th was our last chance to try and demonstrate and
hold a reduced show but again the weather was cloudy most of the
time with intermittent showers and thunderstorms. At noon the show
board decided to hold the show again the following weekend and
honor and welcome the previous admissions.

The following weekend brought forth some of the most beautiful
fall colors and weather Northeast Iowa had to offer. We had to
compete with Greeleys’ Celebration honoring their native sons,
the Brady Brothers, Don and Walt, who had spent many years as
drivers of the famous Budweiser Clydesdale hitch with an estimated
10,000 people attending the parade. It held our crowd down till
later in the afternoon when a lot of people stopped in after they
left Greeley.

Sunday was also a beautiful day and we were able to do
everything we had planned to do the weekend before. Including
holding the antique tractor pull, plowing, discing, dragging, and
mowing with 16 horses and 3 mules. We had a real good display of
gas engines including a very good display of model engines, gas and
steam. Our tractor display included about 60 with nearly every
brand being represented with some very rare models. We built a new
machine shed and hamburger stand this year. The hamburger stand did
a brisk business frying our famous ‘Willie Wopper
Hamburgers’. The ladies served home cooked dinners all five
days; chili and sandwiches, chicken noodle soup and chicken dinners
plus homemade pies and bars.

One of our members has a commercial orchard so he donated apples
for apple butter, cider and the bushels of caramel apples the
ladies made. He was also able to sell pickup loads of fresh ripe

All in all our 3-day show that turned into a 5-day show turned
out to be pretty darn successful with everyone’s patience and
perseverance. Originally we held our show on the second weekend in
September but 2 years ago we decided to move it to the 3rd weekend
so it didn’t conflict with some neighboring shows. The last 2
years we were rained out, we decided to try our luck for one out of

I’m sure that every show has had their share of foul weather
at one time or another but we sure have had ours and somebody elses

What I’m trying to say is, if you like to look at old
tractors, machinery, household furnishings, threshing, shredding,
sawing lumber and cedar shingles, grinding, crushing rocks, steam
power, horse power and plowing, visit flea markets, eat home cooked
meals, ‘Willie Wopper Hamburgers’, carmel apples, popcorn,
homemade bread, dig in the penny sandpile, look at our beautiful
hill country and don’t mind maybe getting rained on and walking
around in a little mud, come to our show this fall, the 3rd weekend
in September 1988, at the Plagman Barn, on C7X; 10 miles west of
Guttenberg or 1 mile east of Garber, Iowa.

A Brief History of the PLAGMAN BARN pronounced

This 136 foot long balloon framed dance barn was built in 1924
and 1925 strictly as a dance barn and was used for that from
September 11, 1925 until October 3, 1939. In its day some of the
most famous and popular dance bands played there. People from some
of the larger surrounding cities attended these dances, admission
was 36 cents per person for the first dance.

Our club first leased the property and two years ago we
purchased the barn and surrounding 18 acres. We are in the process
of restoring the barn.

  • Published on May 1, 1988
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