Here in the land of the pine tree and cranberry bog we have a perfect setting for the engine shows everyone enjoys. Nestled among the bogs in South Carver, Massachusetts is the Edaville Railroad. For the past several years the line has sponsored engine meets in both the summer and fall.
Well, this past October 3rd we had one of the most enjoyable meets ever held at this site. The day started out just perfect with crisp morning air and now-and-then pockets of mist, as is often the case hereabouts in early fall. As we drove up to the field on Meadow Street we saw several of the campers who had arrived the day before. They were just beginning to stir a sleepy campfire into action. Soon the smell of woodsmoke and coffee brewing filled the early morning air as we began work.
The registration booth and steam table were soon set up and ready for business. By this time we could see our 'chief engineer', Paul Hallett, steaming up the big Buffalo-Springfield steam roller. This piece of machinery is always a popular attraction with everyone.
Here is an interesting trio with a little international flavor. The engine on the trailer is a Champion Canadian. The Ruston Hornsby is English; both being owned by John Poirier of Upton, Massachusetts. The American tractor is a 1930 John Deere owned by Brian Boria of Millbury, Massachusetts.
Ron Winslow, from Dudley, Massachusetts with his converted Ford Pinto engine. Believe it or not this engine now runs on steam and was very interesting to both watch and listen to. All photos by Richard Laberge, Edaville Railroad photographer.
Dawn soon turned into morning and our fellow engine enthusiasts began rolling in. We gave each exhibitor a show button with ribbon and free tickets for the Cranberry Festival and train ride. This way everyone had the chance to see and take part in all of the events of the day.
Perhaps the two most spectacular happenings of the meet were first, when George Church fired up his 50 horsepower Fairbanks-Morse engine and ran the sawmill on his flatbed. The other was a friendly meeting that was staged between the Buffalo-Springfield roller and a train pulled by Edaville engine 4. Shutters clicked, people smiled, and another family event was recorded on film.
By the time the sun began to sink in the sky we found that exhibitors had come from all six New England states and New York. To them all we say thanks; we're sure grateful. There were one hundred and ten participants bringing one hundred and eighty engines, four antique vehicles, one traction engine, and one tractor. In fact we ran out of the area that had been staked out and had to take over part of an unused field for the latecomers.
Everything went fine though and everyone enjoyed themselves. This last fall's show, like those in past years, was coordinated with the Cranberry Council's famous festival. This event, covering two weekends, is held at Edaville each year and can best be described as a sort of state fair, cranberry style. In addition to our engine show there was a horse show, 4H fair, and all sorts of entertainment.
Next year we plan to expand an already overcrowded steam table and allow for more aisles of exhibitor space. If we're lucky and the weather cooperates we'll again have an enjoyable engine show in cranberry country.