The Arizona Early Day Gas Engine and Tractor Association

By Staff
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3237 W. North view, Phoenix, Arizona 85051

The Arizona Early Day Gas Engine and Tractor Association, held
its third annual show at the Sahuaro Ranch Park in conjunction with
the Glendale Town Picnic.

Sahuaro Ranch was homesteaded by William H. Bartlett in the late
1800s. With the completion of the Arizona Canal in 1885, Bartlett
developed his 616 acre homestead. The original adobe house was
built in 1887 and is still standing. I know that in eastern states
there are many older homes and buildings, but remember, we are a
much younger state. A horse barn and a blacksmith shop was also
built in 1887. In 1890 as many as 500 to 1,000 hogs were raised and
shipped by rail to outside markets. A 100 acre olive orchard and a
20 acre orange grove were set out in 1890. In 1890 about 20 palms
were planted and many of these can still be seen along the
irrigation ditch by the Visitor Center. The fruit packing house was
built during the summer of 1891 and was completed in time for the
fall harvest of tons of figs.

The ranch contained 250 acres of orchards, an 80 acre vineyard
and 270 acres of grain and alfalfa. Fruits grown were white
Adriactic figs, Le Conte pears, Washington Navel oranges, peaches,
apricots and olives.

In 1895 ‘a fine brick dwelling’ was built for the
superintendent and his wife and a foreman’s house was built
about that same time. A dairy barn was built in 1927, a milk house
in 1932.

In 1977 the city of Glendale purchased 80 acres and started
Sahuaro Ranch Park. Many of these original buildings are still
standing, and some are restored and used today. Enough history!

Our club feels this is a great setting for our show. There were
108 old tractors and 110 old engines and related items at the
year’s show. The engine display was around and in front of the
old packing shed. The tractors were just to the north of the
foreman’s house.

Our ladies had a food booth in front of the foreman’s house
and sold homemade cake, cookies and etc. The information booth also
did a great job selling our club’s hats, cups, tee-shirts and
$1.00 raffle tickets which were for a John Deere pedal tractor that
was given away Sunday afternoon. We also signed up about 20 new
members. A job well done by our wonderful ladies.

We had a tractor parade at 1:00 p.m. both days followed by a
tractor pull. Dan Hempelman has a great collection of Minneapolias
tractors, which includes a Gray Drum Drive. Bill Pardee had a
one-half scale Case steam engine. It was great to watch it pull
because it was so quiet. We are not blessed with the steam tractor
like you are in the Midwest.

Walter Johnson had a great display of old lamps and sad irons
(solid flat irons), some dating back 104 years. This collection
helps young people see how people had to light their homes in the
early 1900’s and how the housewife had to iron clothes before
the electric iron.

There were a great variety of gas engines, some pumping water,
grinding corn, crushing rocks, smashing cans, powering electric
generators, sawing wood, powering washing machines and driving a
vacuum pump for a milking machine. There were exhibitors from all
over the United States and Canada. Our club is trying to preserve
the history of the past by showing our youth how things were done
many years ago. With our tractor and engine display they can see
how far we have come.

There was a huge crowd with the older people saying, ‘I
remember my grandfather (or grandmother) having one of these,’
and the youth saying, ‘I’m glad I don’t have to use
things like this today.’

Thanks to everyone who brought something to help make this show
a success. The weather was perfect both days and the largest crowd
ever. We are looking forward to February 13 and 14, 1995. Hope to
see you and all your friends here, because without you, the
spectator, these shows would not be so much fun!

The Arizona Early Day Gas Engine and Traction
Association’s mailing address is P.O. Box 11673, Phoenix, AZ
85061.

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