Pioneer Museum Show

By Staff

5801 E. 5th Street, Tucson, Arizona 85711

The engine and tractor show the Salt River Valley Antique Power
Association put on March 4th of 1995, at the Pioneer Village just
north of Phoenix city limits, was a very pleasant and interesting
get together of old iron collectors, though we were not all old,
the iron was.

The weather was wonderfully cool, but sunny, which also made it
pleasant. In the center of the village is a grassed-in square with
lots of shade trees. The village is made up of various typical
businesses of bygone days. There is a Victorian house containing
the various furnishings of the period, with a host dressed to fit
the occasion. Then there’s the Print Shop (yours truly got a
neat recipe for sour milk biscuits that the shop had printed up and
am sharing it with all of you, see below). The dress shop the lady
there makes clothes of the period for sale and has clothes from
before the Civil War period on display. She uses two different old
treadle sewing machines to sew on.

Then there is the blacksmith shop, built to scale of a real one
and all in working order with a real smithy, the big overhead
bellows, the walls are covered with the old tools of the period.
There is a sleigh, buggies, etc. in there, also a fine display of
model old tools of yesteryear.

A brick bank building was moved there with all the interior
furnishings, such as the heavy walk-in vault with its huge steel
door, teller’s cage, machines, even the tile flooring and wall
and ceiling coverings. I’d say it’s turn of the century or
earlier. The sheriffs office is a repro, though it had many
authentic furnishings in it. There is even a live sheriff and what
appears to be a dead guy in one of the cells, cause dust is settled
on him!

A two story brick opera house is about a block away with an old
organ that looks playable, and next to it is the gift shop with
some antiques and some very nice gifts for sale. The restaurant has
an adjoining old-time bar next to it.

There is the ranch setting about a block in the other direction
that contains a log barn and corrals, log ranch house, and a couple
of other-log houses furnished with items of that period a root
cellar, a spring box with a real spring running in it. There is
even a chicken house and cage with live chickens. The brick bakery
building was moved there, but it’s not restored yet. To the
south of the Square is another log house with furnishings and some
more chickens. Across from the house is the log school house with a
live teacher, the teacher’s log house next to the school and

Next to the school buildings is a big white church building with
steeple and all. Most of these old buildings were moved to the
museum grounds from various places in Arizona. The museum alone is
well worth looking through the various buildings and furnishings.
It took up a couple of my hours, and I walked it.

The host club was very gracious in that they had hot coffee and
rolls for us all early in the morning next to the gazebo in the
Square. At noon we all enjoyed a pot luck lunch which included lots
of various delicious dishes including a large variety of desserts,
such as pies, cakes, cookies, etc.

Most of the participants arrived early Saturday morning. There
were about 25 engines and some go-withs and about seven tractors.
The people that I recognized were Bill Pardee and son with their
steam tractor and saw mill and Don Robertson had his electric
Studebaker, the Decamps, the Jones, and another fella from Sedona
there were a lot of strangers. There was a nice lush green grassy
field nearby that was used by a couple of Deeres to plow and

There is talk of making it a two-day affair next year, which
would make an improvement to the affair and I’m sure more
people would attend then, too. Only two sides of the square were
used on the perimeter. There was about an acre left that could have
been used.

There was a huge level green grassy field covered with filaree
for dry camping. It had two large fire pits built for bon-fires
with a large pile of wood to burn. As it was, only three campers
used it Friday night. A light rain fell that night while we were
chawing around the bon-fire. In fact, we had to use umbrellas for a

On Saturday there were two wagons (rubber tired smooth ride)
that one could ride on and see the whole layout. One wagon was
pulled with a Deere (John, that is) and the other with a team of
horses. Yes, all in all it was a very nice show which I highly
recommend all of us ‘old’ iron collectors to attend.

As promised above, here’s the recipe:

Anyone wanting more information, please write or call Don
Tolbert, 3731 W. Vista Ave., Phoenix AZ 85051, home phone
602-973-5992; work phone 602-272-6591.

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Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines