South Lake County Agricultural Historical Society Steps Back To The Past

By Staff
article image
Mark Corson

5l5 Northgate Dr. Dyer, Indiana 46311

Photo by Mark Corson.

Most summers in northwest Indiana fall into one of two categories, hot and dry or cool and wet. This year definitely fell well within the first choice, with daily temperatures hovering in the high 90’s. Luckily though, our show grounds, the Lake County Fairgrounds, are generously covered with tall shade trees which protect the rolling grounds. Mix those ingredients with a constant breeze, good food, cold drinks and friendly people; you end up with one very enjoyable weekend.

This year’s feature, International Harvester tractors and equipment, brought exhibitors from both near and far, contributing to a very good display of various pieces. Several Titans and Moguls were definite eye catchers. Other not so common IHC representatives were a 1936 and 1937 Fairway 12, 1932 F-30 Duckbill tractor, a 1939 Cane 30 and several small crawlers. The Red Power Club had a nice display booth set up in our feature tractor building flanked by a fine collection of IHC pedal tractors brought down from Wisconsin. Several other outstanding or unique tractors included an impressive collection of Massey Harris, a 1929 Baker, a 1916 Eagle, a Port Huron steamer, a Minneapolis steamer, and a miniature scratch-built steamer. A nice assortment of John Deere, Allis Chalmers, Case, Oliver, and Minneapolis Moline tractors rounded out our field, with a total tractor display of over 180.

Special recognition should be given to our members responsible for organizing the tractors and farming equipment. Tractors belted or hitched to the pieces they once powered looked great and at the same time taught our uninformed visitors how things were done in bygone days.

Our small engine exhibitors brought in over 40 old engines. Some were just puffing away, while others powered air compressors, shellers, pumps, etc. John Deere, Briggs, Economy, Stover, Lawson, and of course IHC M’s and LA’s could all be seen.

Active displays were the real crowd pleasers of the weekend. Threshing, corn shelling and shredding, and straw baling were always drawing crowds. A dynamometer kept the tractor owners busy both testing their old favorites and comparing the horsepower results of the different tractors. A blacksmith kept busy tapping out an array of products from horseshoes to wall decorations. Grain grinding could be seen daily using a great collection of Letz mills once manufactured here in Crown Point, Indiana.

Over in the woods a sawmill buzzed away turning logs into boards or timbers. The timbers were cut into blocks on a Lyons dragsaw then transformed into shingles on a mill loaned to us and displayed by members of Northern Indiana Historical Power Association of Valparaiso, Indiana. Other show events consisted of a slow tractor race, daily parades, a very popular Kiddy Tractor Pedal Pull, a display of antique cars by the Winnamac Car Club and a relaxing ride on our people mover. Food booths, petting zoo, flea market and evening entertainment all contributed to the success of our show. This year’s show dates will be the 17, 18, 19 of July 1992, and the feature will be Allis Chalmers. Please keep these dates in mind and plan to join us to ‘Step Back To The Past’.

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