PORTERSVILLE!

By Staff
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Vice-president, R. D. #1, Box 149A, Ellwood City, Pennsylvania
16117

Dick Wimer’s Oliver-Hart Parr tractor. A rather rare make in
our area and a very nice item with Dick’s fine paint work and
finish.

Bill Henry’s ‘Buffalo’ drilling engine. It is a 4
cylinder unit built in Buffalo, New York – equipped with an oil
pressure cut-off on the governor, 3 way carburetor for gas, fuel or
natural gas and a Bosch magneto.

These units both home-built and commercial were rather common in
the oil fields after large car engines became available at
competitive prices. This one has a large bearing block then a
reversing differential clutch, a reduction gear and then a pulley
and a twister of some kind on the outer end. Note the notches in
the flywheel by which it was cranked with a crowbar.

The Northwestern Pennsylvania Steam Engine and Old Equipment
Association held their annual show for 1977 at the show grounds in
Portersville, Pennsylvania in August. Again, several new
improvements were in evidence on the grounds for this, the third
show at the club’s own park.

For the first time the show was expanded to four days, Thursday
through Sunday. The fourth day was an effort to escape bad weather
which had disrupted much of the ’76 show’ activities, and
sure enough the rains rolled in on Saturday and Sunday and caused
lots of mud, especially in the parking lot at the north end of the
grounds. We seemed to have learned a lesson that other shows might
be interested in and would be very interested in comparing notes
with any other groups having similar experience. Two of the
improvements were a greatly expanded eating shelter attached to the
cookhouse and a barn with attached shed for the housing and display
of animals. These along with the picnic shelters, main display barn
and sales stand with its awnings greatly expanded our ability to
shelter people from the showers which were on and off Saturday
afternoon. Our helpers all remarked afterwards that every shower
brought a rush of business. This was obviously good for the
business ledger and it also held the crowd by giving them something
to do till the rain stopped and they could move out to other
displays. Perhaps with sustained rain the effect would have been
different, but with intermittent showers we met a surprising degree
of success.

Among other improvements were a gate with improved visibility
which was incorporated with a beautiful white picket fence down
both sides of the driveway. Harold Bupp engineered this project
along with the barn and food shelter and most of the help was
provided by Bill Henry and Bud Beiber. The paint was applied by the
faithful crew of Lillian Bupp and Carrie Henry, aided by Mary
Badger, now the wife of the vice president, Tom Downing. The
railroad was greatly improved in appearance and use ability with
the brickwork started on a platform-loading area and the grading of
the track and surroundings both improved over the original
beginnings. The railroad crew was headed again by Chuck Burr and Al
Bupp with other help as needed (but never quite enough). With most
of the rest of the grounds developed rather well, the finish,
grading, and seeding of that area in the lower end will soon be
getting its share of attention and may well be the most picturesque
picnic site on the grounds with the trestle and railroad.

The threshing site was moved down into the shady northwest end
this year and worked out quite well in spite of the weather. Bill
Reynold’s horse baler made quite a hit even operated by a mule.
A team of beautiful {yeah, I think so) young and well-trained mules
were among the first occupants of the new barn provided by Abe
Mengel. The weather apparently prevented a better showing of draft
animals which add so much to the show.

The food service provided by the Portersville-Muddy Creek
Firemen and Ladies was better than ever and the thresherman’s
dinner was expanded to two evenings, Friday and Saturday.

The gas engine area was well visited again under the leadership
of Paul Boehm and friends. One hundred and fifty-eight engines were
registered from as far away as Glenville, West Virginia and a lot
from Ohio and Pennsylvania. Small engines ranged from the Maytags
at less than a horsepower, to the 14horse ‘Ball’ oil well
engine, the 25 HP ‘Reid’ and the 18 horse upright
‘Cook’ from the ‘Cyclone Driller.’ The Cook was
limbered up this year to the extent of running on two explosions
per minute-30 seconds of coasting between. Is that some sort of
records, fellows?

The tractor display was organized partly by make this year by
our Fordson man, Don Martin, of Butler. The front row had seven or
eight Fordsons all different, including a mounted mower, mounted
plows, an industrial model. Parading was planned, but it was
stopped by the weather, as cleats would be bad for the soggy
turf.

The model table was well handled by Mark Williams and his
friends this year with some help by Tom Henry on the hooking up.
Other steam equipment of the stationary type was run by Bob Kearns
and his Eclipse return flue boiler. Bob also helped some on the
portables which power the sawmill and shingle mill. I was having
some trouble keeping the ‘Orr and Sembower’ hot on the
shingle saw when Bob showed up and took over firing while I was on
top with the throttle. In ten minutes or less, the old engine was
going full tilt, the injector was on and the pop valve was up, all
at the same time. I didn’t think it would do all that at once,
but a good fireman does make a difference.

Our outdoor display was well handled again by Bob Bodescheim and
his helpers and was, in the wet weather, a great attention getter.
Features this year were music by Bill Reynolds’ Player Piano
and on Sunday, by a band organ displayed by Jake Debence from the
Music Museum in Franklin, Pennsylvania. The Harmony Museum provided
spinning and weaving crafts and the potter, Rob Szakelyhidi,
demonstrated several times each day. The flea markets, as well as
the womens’ craft booth, provided bargains and goodies even
though many of the flea market vendors were not prepared for the
bad weather and left early when showers came.

All in all, a good year was recorded. The grounds held up very
well and the bills are paid and we are looking forward to a better
year in 1978.

Just a note on directions: For reasons only politicians know,
the interchange numbers on Interstate 79 are changed AGAIN! At
first and now again they are numbered in sequence,
ours being #28 at Portersville (Route 488 – thank heaven that is
still the same) and #29 at U.S. Route 422, just about three miles
north. For the past two years they were numbered by mileage as #96
and #99, so if you follow directions on an obsolete poster or card,
you will have to be sharp or you may find yourself in Erie,
Buffalo, or West (by gum) Virginia.

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