200 S. Spruce St., Centerville, IN 47330
Canal Days at Cambridge City, Indiana, were held on September 7 and 8, 1985, one of the hottest September weekends we have experienced in several years. Temperatures were in the low 90's on Saturday when the annual engine, tractor and antique machinery exhibit was held. This show, organized and managed by Charles and Eddie Hall of Cambridge City, has grown a bit larger each year since beginning two years ago.
This third year we were given access to a vacant lot in downtown Cambridge City plus a portion of the street in front of the lot. The regular list of exhibitors was present including the halls, Tom Kelsey, Mike Bond from Richmond and Jim Jones and sons from Centerville.
This year we were happy to have a larger display of vintage farm tractors than normal. Several John Deeres, including 1935 and 1936 model B's, a later 1940's model A and a few McCormick-Deering tractors were shown. The Halls had their Ottawa drag saw in operation and also a Standard Twin garden tractor in new condition. Numerous old engines were on display shelling corn, pumping water, operating a grindstone and other exhibits. In addition, old tools and an ancient foot powered lathe were on display.
Mike Bond had completed a model steam engine which was operated on compressed air. This engine was belted to a corn sheller and actually shelled corn. It was built as part of a high school machine shop project and shows what an enterprising young man can do with a difficult project built from scratch.
Danny and Jason Hall had a large display of antique wrenches and other farm tools. Several restored Maytag and Briggs & Stratton engines were on display. Jeff Himelick of Fountain City brought his trailer of engines down again and ground corn meal and pumped water. His Delco light plant provided power for Jim Jones' Kewanee water pump equipped with a 32 volt motor.
Fodder was shredded with an ancient Ross feed cutter powered by a 1936 John Deere B tractor. This machine was featured in a photo layout of the event in the county daily paper.
The exhibit closed Saturday night with the removal of the smaller equipment. However several of the old tractors were in the Sunday afternoon parade. Eddie Hall, a John Deere man who has green and yellow blood, dressed in his John Deere clothes but drove a McCormick-Deering F-20 in the parade. This brought numerous comments from the crowd.
The group plans an even larger show the end of June 1986 when Cambridge City plans a sesquicentennial celebration. It is hoped that more area collectors can come and take part in this exhibit which has proven to be a definite drawing card and crowd pleaser.