43138 Road 52 Reedley, California 93654
Engine people throughout California, as well as up and down the West Coast, know a man by the name of Charlie Parishhe's a living legend to day among folks throughout Engineland.
Charlie is a successful, energetic businessman with a heart of gold. He lives with his wife Sandi on the outskirts of Merced, California, where they have a large acreage filled with old engines and related machinery.
During the past years he has fulfilled his dream of building up a new museum and frontier village dedicated to the folks who love old engines and California history, and so far has been very successful. His museum is located on Highway 140, which is a direct route from the San Joaquin Valley to Yosemite National Park, a route that is filled with tourists all year long. His recent addition is an old time black smith shop, which certainly has added attraction to his frontier village, while at the same time his museum is being filled with numerous old time engines and early day relics.
Charlie was also instrumental in organizing EDGE&TA Branch 18 several years ago, and has served as its president. Plans are on the drawing board, and his mind is set out into the future when in 1998 Charlie and his active Branch 18 members plan to host the National EDGE&TA show here in Merced. Just recently he offered his facilities (museum and showgrounds) to host the first annual Branch 18 fall shows which I shall describe:
The first of Branch 18's annual fall shows was held on the weekends of October 9th and 10th and the 16th and 17th. Even though there were predictions of rain, and it rained all around us, God smiled on us and we had excellent weather for all the shows.
On the first Friday night, the museum hosted a free dinner for those who set up their displays early and helped along with arrangements. Each day there was a tractor parade, and Brian Sandvee did an excellent job with organization and announcing. We had several demonstrations presented, such as blacksmith forging, candle making, corn husk doll making and the making of ropes by Forest Burkland with the help of his daughter. We also saw apple cider being made by a press run with a 3 HP Fairbanks Morse gas engine, as well as the making of ice cream by Tom Berry and his wife. One of the highlights of the shows was the exhibition of Irv Baler's 1630 one cylinder Rumely, which is an attraction wherever shown. Tom Menzell brought his 3 cylinder 1906 Union 50 HP stationary engine, which was purchased new by Tom's grandfather. It was used until 1928, at which time it was replaced by a 40 HP electric motor. Menno Kliewer brought his Early Day Power Display trailer demonstrating early day apple peeling, family clothes washing and corn shelling. Other exhibitors participated by bringing their tractors and engines; we wish to thank each one of them. Everyone had a neat time just being together and 'fellowshipping.'
Mark your calendars for Branch 18 upcoming shows in 1994. The dates will be May 14, 15,21, & 22. The Fall shows are scheduled for September 10, 11, 17, & 18. This museum has 11 large stationary engines on display, as well as a permanent display scale model of the pro posed Yosemite Valley railroad which is scheduled to run from Castle to the National Park. Please feel free to drop in and see us at the museum. You will be glad you did, and we would certainly like to show you around. Video at the recent shows are available by contacting the Agricultural Museum 4498E, Highway 140, Merced, California 95340.