4 Blackberry Lane Lake Wylie, South Carolina 29710
The fourth annual Cotton Ginning Days, biggest and best so far, was held at the Gaston County Park, northwest of Gastonia, North Carolina. The show is conducted by GAMTRA,. Gaston Agricultural, Mechanical, and Textile Restoration Association, and supported by the Gaston County Parks and Recreation Department. This year we welcomed upwards of 250 exhibitors from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia. Lunch was served on Saturday by the Bill Lankford family to all exhibitors for what has now become a hospitality tradition of our show.
The GAMTRA 37? HP Fairbanks-Morse Style 'Y' diesel engine was a big hit for the second year. The engine, formerly used to operate a cotton gin nearby, was donated by Mr. G. W. Wilson, Jr., an active club member. The big diesel is housed in a permanent building erected by club members during 1990. Next to this building is the cotton gin building, which is now under construction. This building is also being built by the membership using post and beam method, with everything pegged together. The actual cotton gin to be placed in this new building is a Continental Model 50, circa 1900. A screw driven cotton bale press will be placed alongside the gin. All of this equipment will be belt-driven using the Fairbanks-Morse engine.
Approximately 500 pieces of equipment were registered this year, including engines, tractors, steam engines, hot air engines, light plants and farm equipment. Some of the special operating exhibits included a shingle mill, drag saws, rock crushing and slab sawing. One of the more interesting exhibits was a 1917 General Motors, 4 cylinder engine powering a large General Electric generator. This unit was once in service as the backup generator of the famed Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina. Other activities were a well attended country music show, a bluegrass festival, and a gospel music concert. There was also a Civil War reenactment.
Gaston County Park is located on Highway 275-279 just west of U.S. 321. Highway 275-279 is two miles north of the I-85 U.S. 321 exit at Gastonia, North Carolina. Come visit us next year, the second weekend in October, for a great Cotton Ginning Days show in a beautiful location. For more information write: GAMTRA, Box 893, Lowell, North Carolina 28098.