RR #1, Box 169, Strawberry Point, IA 50276
The Sixth Annual Northeast Iowa Farm and Antique Association Show was scheduled to be held at the Plagman Barn on September 18, 19 and 20, 1987 but on the 16 and 17 the Guttenberg-Garber area received about 5 inches of rain turning our show grounds into a sea of mud.
We all hoped and prayed for dry and sunshiny weather for the 18, 19 and 20th. Since we were rained out the first 2 days of last year, we were hoping our luck would change this year. But according to Murphy's Law if you drop a piece of buttered bread on the floor, it will land butter side down and that was the way the weather turned out for us.
On Friday the 18th we had invited the neighboring elementary school children to our show. Several districts accepted, bringing their teachers for a few hours break from their school studies. The weather was overcast and a light mist was falling most of the day but we managed to do a little threshing, sawing, shredding and grinding.
The women held up their end of the show by giving the household demonstrations of churning butter, making homemade soap, homemade bread, apple butter and apple cider, besides washing clothes with an old washing machine, having a furnished log cabin and a country store.
It was all most humorous watching the teachers trying to get the children rounded up and back on the buses to return to their schools.
When Saturday morning came we were blessed with more clouds and a steady drizzle all day long adding to our now very deep sea of mud so we were not able to do much but try to stay dry. The flea market people were literally out of business.
We had planned to do plowing with horses and other related demonstrations. We were unable to do them due to the mud. We couldn't have the antique tractor pull either.
Sunday the 20th was our last chance to try and demonstrate and hold a reduced show but again the weather was cloudy most of the time with intermittent showers and thunderstorms. At noon the show board decided to hold the show again the following weekend and honor and welcome the previous admissions.
The following weekend brought forth some of the most beautiful fall colors and weather Northeast Iowa had to offer. We had to compete with Greeleys' Celebration honoring their native sons, the Brady Brothers, Don and Walt, who had spent many years as drivers of the famous Budweiser Clydesdale hitch with an estimated 10,000 people attending the parade. It held our crowd down till later in the afternoon when a lot of people stopped in after they left Greeley.
Sunday was also a beautiful day and we were able to do everything we had planned to do the weekend before. Including holding the antique tractor pull, plowing, discing, dragging, and mowing with 16 horses and 3 mules. We had a real good display of gas engines including a very good display of model engines, gas and steam. Our tractor display included about 60 with nearly every brand being represented with some very rare models. We built a new machine shed and hamburger stand this year. The hamburger stand did a brisk business frying our famous 'Willie Wopper Hamburgers'. The ladies served home cooked dinners all five days; chili and sandwiches, chicken noodle soup and chicken dinners plus homemade pies and bars.
One of our members has a commercial orchard so he donated apples for apple butter, cider and the bushels of caramel apples the ladies made. He was also able to sell pickup loads of fresh ripe apples.
All in all our 3-day show that turned into a 5-day show turned out to be pretty darn successful with everyone's patience and perseverance. Originally we held our show on the second weekend in September but 2 years ago we decided to move it to the 3rd weekend so it didn't conflict with some neighboring shows. The last 2 years we were rained out, we decided to try our luck for one out of three.
I'm sure that every show has had their share of foul weather at one time or another but we sure have had ours and somebody elses too!
What I'm trying to say is, if you like to look at old tractors, machinery, household furnishings, threshing, shredding, sawing lumber and cedar shingles, grinding, crushing rocks, steam power, horse power and plowing, visit flea markets, eat home cooked meals, 'Willie Wopper Hamburgers', carmel apples, popcorn, homemade bread, dig in the penny sandpile, look at our beautiful hill country and don't mind maybe getting rained on and walking around in a little mud, come to our show this fall, the 3rd weekend in September 1988, at the Plagman Barn, on C7X; 10 miles west of Guttenberg or 1 mile east of Garber, Iowa.
A Brief History of the PLAGMAN BARN pronounced Plowman)
This 136 foot long balloon framed dance barn was built in 1924 and 1925 strictly as a dance barn and was used for that from September 11, 1925 until October 3, 1939. In its day some of the most famous and popular dance bands played there. People from some of the larger surrounding cities attended these dances, admission was 36 cents per person for the first dance.
Our club first leased the property and two years ago we purchased the barn and surrounding 18 acres. We are in the process of restoring the barn.