Prairie Land Show Report

By Staff
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Tractor area with the John Deere line featured.
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The 'Prairie Land Express' with Clyde McMahan, engineer.
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Threshing and baling for the adults.
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Money in the Straw for the kids.

808 S. West, Jacksonville, Illinois, 62650

The 18th annual Steam Show of Prairie Land Heritage Museum was
held September 25-27, 1987, at the corner of Lincoln and Michigan
Avenues in South Jacksonville, Illinois.

The ’87 Show was the largest ever with an extimated crowd of
7,000 attending the three-day show. We had an estimate of 200 small
engines, 60 tractors, and 8 steam engines, with the John Deere line
being featured.

This year for the first time, the show opened with a parade, on
Thursday, to downtown Jacksonville. This was led by our president
in his ’49’ Ford pickup, followed by tractors, wagons, and
a steam engine.

Admission to the show was $2.00 with a museum button good for
all three days. Flea market stalls were all full with a total of
110 stands being occupied.

A printed program was available, detailing the daily activities
and a map with other useful information.

Throughout the three days, threshing, plowing, molasses making,
corn-meal grinding, and baling were all demonstrated. The sawmill
proved a popular activity as well as the blacksmith shop, with a
‘smithy’ on duty at all times.

Many working crafts were on hand such as rope making, a tin
punch, caning, rug making, weaving, spinning, quilting, and

The Ladies Auxilary made and raffled off a quilt as well as
showing a lot of beautiful quilts.

Good food including pork dinners on Friday with ham and beans on
Saturday and Sunday kept everyone well fed. Hamburgers, fish
sandwiches, and homemade pies were available in the newly built
hamburger stand. Funnel cakes proved popular with the young at

A steam train, ‘The Prairie Land Express’ tickled the
fancy of kids from 1-100 as they rode the rails, experienced the
flying cinders and heard the familiar whistle as it approached the
station. An antique fire engine chugged around the grounds, ringing
its bell and blowing its siren.

This year, for the first time, an antique tractor pull and a
kiddie tractor pull were held. These were popular with all

Square dancing was enjoyed on Saturday p.m. and Sunday a.m. a
local minister conducted a worship service.

This year we will feature the International Harvester line of
engines and tractors, with a special show plaque given to those
exhibitors. If you have never attended our show, please consider it
this year. The dates are September 23-25. Bring your engines and
join us in the fun.

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Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines