A New Show NEEDED AND CREATED In Western New York

| December/January 1987

9458 Genesee Road, East Concord, New York 14055

The two remaining, active charter members of the East Concord Volunteer Fire Dept., George Barthel and Clair C. Fisher, recall that the Department was organized 'Out of Need' for this farming community, located thirty miles south of Buffalo, New York. Now, forty years later, the Department has organized an annual 'Steam and Gas' show, once again, 'Out of Need.' This time, the Department needed a new project to bolster their fund raising activities while local tractor collectors and enthusiasts needed and wanted a chance to display the objects of their affection, locally. The nearest such organized event was nearly fifty miles away.

In 1986, they undertook the project, using the adjoining sixteen acres of land, purchased several years ago for future expansion, which had been serving no particular purpose. And so, a new show was born under the direction of Mark Ballachino, who, with his father Vincent, and brother Greg, had restored the 1936 Massey Harris 15-22-a four wheel drive tractor that was used as the logo for the 1987 show.

The first show proved to be so successful that the second show was held on August 29th and 30th of 1987. Inclement weather gave way to sunshine within an hour before the activities got under way. However, this may have dampened the spirit of some exhibitors. Still, nearly 100 exhibitors showed 50 tractors, about 300 hit and miss engines and other related items, as well as several antique cars and trucks. The only notable absence was 'Steam'! While this was disappointing, it is hoped that the firemen will be able to locate any steam units that may be in the area and promote them in future shows.

Early in the year, a plot of corn and oats was planted 'on the back forty' by the Department President, Gary Miller, a local dairy farmer. These were harvested, chopped and threshed as live demonstrations for the public, using antique tractors and equipment.

Another demonstration of wood cutting proved to be very dramatic. A drag saw, belt driven by a stationary engine, was in continuous operation by Clifford Rugg. While this showed the time consuming operation of cutting a log into blocks, a new, portable lumber mill which was completely self contained, owned and operated by Robert Schelble, cut rough logs into sized lumber within minutes.


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