Northern Indiana Historical Power Association 1993 Show Report

By Staff

9374 Roosevelt St. Crown Point, Indiana 46307

The Northern Indiana Historical Power Association held their
seventeenth annual ‘Harvest Festival and Steam Show’
September 17, 18, 19, 1993, at Sunset Hill Park. Exhibitors and
visitors found a new entrance welcoming them into the showgrounds.
While the new entrance is more visible when entering and exiting
the grounds, it took with it a good share of what was the parking
area for the weekend. With just a few days to the show the Porter
County Park gave us use of what had become a field of overgrown
grass, weeds, etc.

The weekend started off Friday morning with the official opening
ceremony and flag raising, and with a welcoming burst of the
whistles signaling the engineers had steam up and were ready to
start off the weekend show. Over the afternoon, seven bus loads of
delighted local school children were guests of NIHPA, as they
toured the park to get a glimpse of old-time farm techniques and
machinery.

The park creates a pleasant setting for the show, and through
the cooperation of the local park board, we have been able to have
use of a portion of the grounds for our annual show, for the past
few years. If one were to position himself on a high point near the
center of the show grounds, this would be near the present location
of the S. & M. Corson Sawmill. Spending the major portion of my
time during the show working at the sawmill, it is from this
vantage point that I see most of the show a prime location for
observing most of the weekend activities.

To the west, the mill overlooks the entertainment stage where a
variety of relaxing musical entertainment took place over the
weekend. Cloggers young and old, beginners and old hams, brought
smiles to visitors and other onlookers. The stage itself is
encompassed by the old tractor display. Tractors of all levels of
restoration can be found on the grounds, from the unrestored to the
over-restored; but all can show off their tractors with equal
pride. A little farther west is where the equipment of the
International Harvester Company, the featured company of the show,
held its position, greeting visitors as they entered the
showgrounds.

Not all of the tractors are left on display many are out
providing the needed power to equipment throughout the showgrounds.
Continuing west, just out of sight of the mill, is where the
threshing and baling demonstrations were taking place. Power was
provided by both steam engines and gas tractors. Some tractor
owners took turns at providing a pull to the visitor wagons that
were touring the grounds.

Throughout the showgrounds teams of horses can also be seen,
pulling hay wagons with delighted visitors, young and old, aboard.
While we were fortunate to have had three good days of weather for
the show, the rains left the fields a bit too wet for plowing,
though both horse owners and tractor owners made the best of
efforts.

What has become a very popular attraction to the show in the
last few years is a dynamometer provided on behalf of the South
Lake County Agricultural Historical Society, of Crown Point. Gary
Parks, Dave Fritz and workers always seem to be happiest when they
are kept busy.

In the distance one can hear the swinging of the
blacksmith’s hammer as it makes contact with the hot iron
slowly being formed into useful items by Ewell Lovell, our local
blacksmith. Not far from here the smell of sweet sorghum is in the
air. Ed Nicholson and family, along with Larry Beck and the cane
gang, cut and press the sorghum cane over the course of the day.
Once there was enough raw cane juice, the cooking began. Apple
butter and apple cider were also among the tasty treats to be
found. Not far from the cider mill one could listen to the rhythmic
echoes of the hit and miss engines, as they provided needed power
to milling machines, water pumps, etc.

Sunday services were conducted by Pastor Russell Ward, of
Willet, New York, whose message to members, exhibitors and visitors
was patience. This is the second year that Russell and his wife,
Burneeda, have come to the farm.

To show that all, man or beast, had to do their share of the
work on the farm, a sheep herding dog herded not only sheep, but
ducks as well, around fences and some of the equipment on display,
and finally into a makeshift pen, stopping all who were passing by
in their tracks!

As the ‘Noon Whistle’ signaled dinner time, workers and
exhibitors were able to take time out and sample the variety of
food available at the show.

Engines that were at last year’s show were: a 50 HP J.I.Case
and a 23-90 A.D. Baker, both owned by Konny Kipper of Highland,
Indiana; a 50 HP J.I. Case owned by the LaPorte County Historical
Steam Society, Hesston; scale Avery, Arland Koopman from Flanagan,
Illinois; and Ed Breasaker’s scale Peerless.

The parade lineup is to the north of the mill and travels around
the show grounds and among fields of crops, to the north and east,
until it gets to the main parade route which lies to the south, and
passes some of the buildings that are under restoration.

I prefer to see a variety of available engines on the sawmill,
thresher, etc. and avoid continuously seeing the same engine
providing power to the same equipment throughout the show, year
after year. The sawmill was put back to work this year, on Sunday,
after patiently making a small number of repairs, with the help of
a full crew of friends, and the loan of a spare blade for the show.
The mill, a Lyon Iron Works, built in Greene, New York, is owned
and operated by my father, Jack Corson, and myself.

Each year, history comes alive when NIPHA is joined by the
Winamac Old Auto Club, with a fine assortment of collectible cars
and trucks. The crosscut saw contest and horse pitching are among
the activities that visitors are invited to participate in over the
weekend.

We wish to thank all the exhibitors and workers for their
untiring help, both in preparation for this event and in keeping
activities going. It takes a full year to prepare for a show and
each participant adds experience and knowledge to the organization.
We had a good variety of equipment of the International Harvester
Company, our featured company, and equipment of other companies
too. We wish to take this opportunity to express our sincerest
appreciation to all the other local clubs, that had members present
with their own equipment and equipment owned by their
organizations.

Most of us do not take the time to count the number of engine
shows that we attend each year. We go to these reunions, not to
observe them repeating some of the same mistakes we make, nor to
criticize them. The true value of show activity is not found among
equipment that is brought in, nor in the amount of activities for
exhibitors and visitors that come to the show. Creating a setting
as it was in the days gone by, where friends can come, visit and
share the good times, this is what it is all about.

This year’s show is scheduled over the weekend of September
16, 17, & 18, 1994 and will be featuring tractors and equipment
of the J. I. Case Company. Also underway are plans for featuring
equipment of the Advance-Rumely line for our 19th ‘Harvest
Steam Show’ in 1995.

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