Old Timers Days IN XENIA, OHIO


| January/February 1998



Rock Island engine

Rock Island engine, 1910-1920.

2821 Wilmington Road, Lebanon, Ohio 45036

Old Timers Days in Xenia, Ohio, was held on September 25, 26, 27, 28, 1997. The weekend temperature varied from 46 degrees in the early morning to 76 degrees in late afternoon. We had very low humidity and absolutely sunny, beautiful skies. The weather could not have been better for the meeting of so many people interested in old machinery, tractors, engines, horses, mules, donkeys, and food galore.

On Wednesday evening, I drove to Xenia, Ohio, a 24 mile trip, with my two John Deere engines and a John Deere garden tractor. I arrived at 4:00 p.m. and found over 150 tractors already pre -sent. I unloaded my John Deere and then began to look things over. I looked around the grounds for two hours. I was really impressed! At 6:30 p.m. everybody was invited to come to the office for homemade ice cream and cake. The Old Timers and their wives really put on a real feed. Every single person was invited. The food was all free to everyone.

Thursday morning at 6:30 a.m., I met my cousin's wife for breakfast and then went to the Greene County Fairgrounds to work the front gate. I worked all morning taking tickets. It was really fun meeting people bringing their prize possessions to the show. I spent the afternoon and evening watching one gentleman, Charles Merriman from the Old Timers, make bean soup over an open fire in great big cast iron kettles. I think he was worried about the bean soup, but the soup turned out really great. I was really impressed! I spent hours of enjoyable time watching people bring their trucks, trailers and their own specific worldly possessions to the Old Timers Show.

Friday, September 26, I personally counted 220 tractors, 90 garden tractors, 120 engines, one shredder, three threshers, one silo cutter, one steam engine and they were still coming in every few minutes. Lots of people do not come in until Friday because of their work schedule.

Saturday morning, I got to talk to people who brought their special engines. The feature engine at the show was Stickney. One 7 HP engine came from Milton, Ontario. The engine was in perfect shape and ran real quiet. It was made in 1912. The same gentleman had a 1907, 1? HP Stickney that he found in New York, buried in the dirt. He showed me a picture of only one flywheel sticking out of the ground. He had sandblasted the entire engine and replaced all the necessary parts by himself. He is a machinist who is obviously a real craftsman. Another engine that intrigued me was a 1902 Thomas and Smith hot air engine that was pumping water. I could not really figure this engine out. A gentleman by the name of Wilbur Barnett and his son Scott had a 1913 15 horsepower Reid engine belted to a very old crosscut saw. The engine was used in Pennsylvania to pump oil. Obviously, the engine did not know it was belted to the cross cut saw. It was a really neat display. By Saturday noon there were over 200 engines all doing what they were meant to do. RUN!