The Piney Chapel Volunteer Fire Department held their 9th Annual
Antique Engine and Farm Machinery Show on Friday and Saturday, Aug.
10-11, 2001 on Elkton Rd., two miles north of Athens, Ala. Tropical
storm Barry had made landfall earlier in the week, and as luck
would have it heavy rains dampened the first day of the show.
Things began to look better during the course of the day, and by
late afternoon the rains ceased. Friday evening the gates were open
and all in attendance were treated to some great entertainment
provided by several local bands playing some good ‘ole gospel
and bluegrass music. Barbeque chicken and all the trimmings was
served by the fire department staff with the help of some local
volunteers. No one went home unsatisfied that night.
Clouds gave way to sunshine on Saturday morning, and soon the
old iron began rolling through the front gate. Tractors, engines,
flea market and parts vendors attended from six states for this
year’s show. John Deere, International, Allis-Chalmers,
Massey-Harris and Oliver were just some of the names represented at
the show. Billy Wayne Ferguson from Athens, Ala., had several
beautifully restored International tractors, as well as a 1948
International ton and a half truck that he meticulously restored to
better than new. Evan Gooch from Columbia, Tenn., displayed a 1926
Cletrac crawler. This little crawler was in very nice original
condition and it ran equally well as he rode around the grounds. It
is not very often that you see a crawler with a steering wheel.
Beautifully restored tractors were paraded around several times for
the enjoyment of the spectators. Altogether, 137 tractors were on
hand for this year’s show.
In the engine display area many restored one lungers were on
hand to show how it was done in the old days. Engines such as
Alamo, IHC, Witte, Hagan and Mogul, a wide variety of brands were
displayed. James Caplinger of Hendersonville, Tenn., ran his
Southern Engine and Boiler Works side shaft for the duration of the
show. The Southern Engine and Boiler Works built these engines in
Jackson, Tenn., and few examples of these engines are known to
exist. John Powers of Carterville, Ga., was serving up some good
homemade ice cream and lemonade. John has a very nice ice cream
unit powered by a 2-1/2 HP Alamo. Altogether, 138 engines (both
large and small) were displayed this year.
Other exhibits included a very nice trailer of small steam
engines owned and operated by Burton Marsh from Mooresville, Ala.
Several antique lawn and garden tractors, model engines, antique
car replicas and scooters were also displayed. The flea market area
was full of treasures both new and old.
Events held during the course of the show included a parade of
power, slow races, fast crank competitions, and even a skillet
throw for the ladies. The fire department staff and their families
did a fantastic job serving good food all day. I am sure no one
went home hungry. Saturday evening the fire department gave away
numerous door prizes donated by many local businesses. As the show
came to a close, everyone who attended was well satisfied.
The Piney Chapel Volunteer Fire Department would like to thank
everyone who participated in this year’s show. We hope you will
join us next year and many more years to come. Thanks to all the
sponsors and co-sponsors for their support and to all the
spectators who continue to show great interest in our wonderful
hobby. Without a common interest, a show like this would not be
A nice, original 1926 Cletrac Crawler belonging to Evan Gooch,
Columbia, Tenn. Featuring a steering wheel rather than the more
common control levers, this crawler is a solid runner.
The Piney Chapel show is always the second weekend of August, so
watch for ads and mark your calendars. We look forward to seeing
you at the Biggest and Best Little Show in Alabama.
Contact engine enthusiast Mike Hodges at: 20396 Elkton Rd.,
Athens, AL 35614.