Corydon, Iowa 50060
The Central Hawkeye Gas Engine and Old Tractor Club held their Second Annual Show July 23 & 24 at their new show grounds near Waukee, Iowa. This is an ideal location. It's just a short distance off of I 80, about 9 miles West of where 180 and 135 join each other for a spell, in other words, if you are on I 80, take Exit 29 and put on the brakes for you are there.
This was the second year at this location for the Club. Twenty one members of the Club went together and bought 27 acres of land here. For a number of years the Central Hawkeye Club put on the show at Living History Farms near Des Moines, Iowa.
The Club was forced to hunt a different location and this has really helped the Club as they now can have a swap tent, flea markets and plenty of rest rooms. The location is ideal for a show. Lots of shade, etc., and it is hoped to have electricity by next year. There is room for threshing, plowing with antique tractors and lots of room for campers.
What is a good engine show? To me, it is the engines, with all the extra little goodies that the exhibitors bring along too. Such as the root cutter for cutting roots to feed poultry etc., brought to the show by Charley Smith of Melbourne, Iowa. Or the crazy tree saw shown by Christie Wurster of Zeoring, Iowa. Or maybe the stuffed 2-headed calf shown along with other interesting items by George Preston of Bell Plaine, Iowa. I had seen George's exhibit a few times at Mount Pleasant, Iowa and it was at one of these shows I saw George's hot fan. This was the first time I had ever heard of a hot air engine or vacuum engine.
There were lots of engines at this show. Duane Parsons said Saturday afternoon there were on hand 167 gas engines, 85 model engines, 29 tractors and one big steam engine and a half grown one. The model engine display was a show of its own.
Three men made the exhibit: Ronald Christenson of Carlisle; Paul Johnson of Des Moines; and Bill Cole of Altoona did this up in fine style. This was the first time I ever saw model 4 cylinder engines that purred like a mad bumble bee when they ran. There were model steam engines, airplane engines and one of the men had a model outboard motor boat engine.
Wayne Holder of Leon, Iowa brought a 3000 pound Koot and Strohmen engine to the show that came out of the oil fields of Oklahoma. If we ever strike oil here in Iowa, we will have the engines here to do the pumping as quite a few of the good ole Iowa boys are sneaking down there and bringing them up here.
The Hoovers of Peru, Illinois put on a real good display of items they make to sell. Watch fobs, belt buckles, embroidered patches and antique tractor models. I will be glad when I get in my second childhood so I can buy one of their toy Rumely oil pull tractors. (Speaking of Rumely Oil Pull tractors, I think I counted 7 of them in the old tractor line-up). One large single cylinder painted up like new was brought to the show by Lyle Dumont of Sigourney, Iowa which is quite a distance away. Lyle has a museum up there, I think, called 'Pioneer Farms'.
Threshing was done by a John Deere separator powered by Dean Vannoys 191016 HP Advance steam engine. Also saw a Woods Bros, separator powered by a GP John Deere. Thanye Henderson was the separator man on each while I was watching. Also the half grown steam engine was displayed by Dennis Vannoy, Dean's son. A gear had come un welded so this little machine was not running on Sunday.
My son-in-law, Norman Jay Nickel of Ankeny, Iowa had worked on his 1911 cycle car for two days getting ready for Sunday. I think he had done everything to it but change the air in the tires, so what-Sunday morning it was raining and we came to the show without it. At noon the sun came out strong and we made a flying 50 mile round trip to Ankeny and back with the car.
This show was another thrill to me as it was the first show I was ever able to bring all three grandsons to-and Yup, 'Old Grandpa' was so pleased he bought badges for all of them to remember the show.
I met Mike Green of Des Moines and saw his 'What Is It' engine that he went clear over to Milford, Connecticut for and hooded George Clark out of it. It was thought at one time this was a water-cooled upright Maytag engine, but no one knows for sure. We have some real sharp guys on Maytags, but rumors keep coming up that at one time Maytag used a water-cooled engine. As Maytag is a Newton, Iowa product, we old Iowa boys should know it all, but we don't.
The Hays Buggy reconditioning shop of RR Dallas Center, Iowa brought some nicely restored buggies to the show. I guess you can take these boys a buggy tongue and they can put a buggy on the other end of it for you.
There was only one more antique car there, while I was there Sunday. A nicely restored 1920 Model T touring car owned by Varlen Carlson of Stanhope, Iowa.
Transportation around the ground was done by wagons of the Pioneer Seed Company, pulled by tractors. The drivers of these tractors should be given a medal as they drove through the rain and again through the hot sunshine which followed. Lots of flea market dealers were on hand for the show. I thought the quantity and quality of their goods were above average. I have seen some flea markets that were so flee-ie that you scratched for several days. (Ha Ha)
Afterwards, all in all, this was a terrific show and if I don't stop this will turn into a book.