Field Day of the Past


| September/October 1995



P.O. Box 375, Oilville, Virginia 23129

The engines were reved up and running full tilt. The sound on the track where the tractors are lined up, waiting their turns to pull, mingled with the noise from the center of the field. There a constant putt-putt hummed as visitors strolled by taking in the sights.

Occasionally the deep sounds of the steam whistle announced to the crowd the sawmill was sawing boards. The noise from the shingle mill added to the din. All these sounds commingled with the smells and sights that proclaimed another Field Day of the Past.

In October more than 12,000 visitors and guests converged on the rolling hills near Centerville in Goochland County, Virginia where the third annual Field Day of the Past was being held. Each year this event, sponsored by the Rockville-Centerville Steam & Gas Historical Association, recreates eras from America's past. Antique tractors, trucks, cars, and construction equipment line the field to present an image of the American workplace since the Industrial Revolution.

In three years the scope of Field Day of the Past has grown to encompass many phases of American and Virginia history. The first show in 1992 brought together steam and gas engine enthusiasts, allowing them to display their antique engines.

By 1994 the show had grown considerably. Last year the event conjured up images of the 'old timey' county fairs. More than 200 exhibitors from across Virginia and from as far away as Florida came together. Exhibits included a 1928 Hercules gas engine, a 1913 William's grist mill, a lime spreader, a 1920s Hocking Valley ensilage cutter, and Ottawa log saw, toy steam engines and antique sewing machines. A dog powered farm treadmill, butter churns and butter making accessories, feed grinder, corn shellers and sundry other pieces of equipment were also part of the show.