Fernstone Farm, Levels, West Virginia 25431
A Webster engine exhibited by Bill McSweeney, Framingham, Massachusetts, at the Bernardston Gas Engine Show in May of 1978
An Aermotor engine exhibited by James S. Bergquist, Orange, Massachusetts, at the same show. (Photo by D. W. Land.)
This event is to benefit the United Church of Bernardston, a small town situated at the top end of the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts near the Vermont border and located on Interstate 91. The features, as noted, are a flea market which this year must have covered about two acres, and a small but rather good engine show.
A donation from spectators of 50? per person or $1.00 per carload is requested. There is no admission fee for exhibitors. Parking is allowed at the exhibition site. Parking, security, and first aid were handled very ably by the Police Cadet Corps and the fire department had vehicles and personnel on hand.
A Met o Power Axe exhibited by Alfred Brewer and Roger Wheeler of Berlin, Massachusetts, at the Bernardston Show. Photo courtesy of D. A. Land, Fernstone Farm, Levels, West Virginia 25431.
Help was always available from neighbors on request (a very congenial gathering) and water was available (a tank on a flat bed). The rules for operation and safety are less codified than at some meets and largely enforced by self-discipline and peer pressure. Area boundaries are not pre-erected. If you desire boundaries/crowd barriers, bring your own.
The location is an open field, well mowed. Bring your own shade and trash receptacles. Camping is permitted on the grounds (no fee) - and there are motels and restaurants in Bernardston.
Snacks and ice cream were available on the grounds, including homemade ice cream by Albert Permantel of Brattleboro with a 2 HP type W Lawson driving an Alaska freezer Model AC.
The fees this year for flea marketing were $6.00 per day and $10.00 for both days. Tentative contacts for next year (Memorial Day Weekend) are: Russell Deane (flea market) 413-648-9010, and Francis Denison (engines) 413-648-9063; both of Bernardston, Massachusetts 01337.
This was a most enjoyable show with a remarkable number of operating accessories, as well as very smooth running engines. I suspect that the number of toolmakers and machinists in the area has contributed mightily. I was about to say 'and no Maytags' but Albert Gingras from At ho I, Massachusetts, brought one and two cylinder Maytags for which he has the washer and the lawnmower, an early Briggs and a Johnson Utilmotor, photographs of a vehicle using one of the small units built in 1935, and catalogues and photographs showing a Viking walking tractor and a Vaughn mini-tracked tractor which he owns.
This is an extremely friendly show well worth visiting. There was a different group of equipment Sunday from that exhibited Saturday. I was impressed by the way the engines ran. Beauty restored or not, the operation was almost faultless. Both days spectators could see drag saws and cordwood saws (steam and gas) in operation. And the Alaska freezer was a real hit on a hot day!