Northern Indiana Historical Power Association Show Report

By Staff
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M. A. Corson

9374 Roosevelt St. Crown Point, Indiana 46307.

The Northern Indiana Historical Power Association, held its sixteenth annual ‘Harvest Festival and Steam Show’ September 18, 19, 20, 1992, at Sunset Hill Farm Park, just a few miles north of Valparaiso, Indiana. The weekend started off with a visit from local school kids that were guests of NIHPA over the Friday afternoon. For those who were never on a farm before, it became an adventure.

This year the fields were covered in ‘green’ with John Deere, the feature company of this year’s show. This is the first year that NIHPA featured equipment of a single company. Early after entering the show grounds visitors could watch a 50 HP J. I. Case traction engine providing power to a 1937 John Deere thresher. Frank Hansen of Rollingstone, Minnesota stopped at the show over the weekend with his John Deere, ‘old 79’. Visitors were also drawn into gasoline alley by the rhythmic charm of the hit-and-miss engines.

Sorghum making is among the many farm activities performed over the weekend. Photo by M. A. Corson.

A variety of power was used on the sawmill over the week end including John Ross’s 1929 25-50 Baker and the LaPorte County Historical Steam Society’s 50 HP Case steam traction engine. The mill was Lyon Iron Works with a 52 inch blade, four blocks, 20 foot carriage, owned and operated by Jack and Mark Corson, both of Crown Point, Indiana.

Eight teams of horses visited our show this year as NIHPA members paid tribute to the early American farm horse and the duties and tasks they performed before being retired to the fields by more modern machines and equipment. The preferred method of travel, at this year’s show, was once again drawn wagons that were touring the grounds. Out in the fields plowing was being done with horses, steam traction engine and gas tractors.

Throughout the weekend tractor owners were invited to participate in a variety of activities. Gary Parks and Dave Fritz with their helpers provided a dynamometer, on behalf of the South Lake County Historical Society, of Crown Point, Indiana. They were kept busy over the weekend providing a chance for the owners to put their tractors to the test.

As the ‘noon whistle’ signaled dinner time, there was plenty of food and refreshments to be found. A variety of craft and flea market items were also available at the show grounds. Local music entertainment provided visitors and exhibitors a chance to sit and relax.

On Sunday automobile history comes alive each year when NIHPA is visited by the Winimac Old Auto Club and members display a fine assortment of collectable cars and trucks. The Winimac Old Auto Club was originally formed in 1950 by seven individuals and was known as the Society for Collecting and Preservation of Antique Autos.

We wish to thank all the exhibitors and workers who attended this year’s show, and especially those who traveled distances. Also, members of NIHPA are very appreciative of persons from other local clubs who visited and exhibited their collectibles with us. We always enjoy meeting new and old friends. We all invite you to attend next year’s show. Plans of featuring tractors and equipment of the International Harvester Company are well underway and is scheduled over the weekend of September 17, 18, 19, 1993.

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