Founding the Pioneer Gas Engine Association Inc

The following notes on the formation of the Pioneer Gas Engine Association of Honeoye Falls, N.Y. were written by the owner of the Mendon Pioneer Museum.

| January/February 1966

  • Case Tractor
    Here is a picture of me in the cab of the 20-40 H.P. Case Tractor. The Pioneer Gas Engine Association is dedicated to preserving machines of this vintage. Courtesy of Mr. Don Grillcy, Deering, North Dakota.

  • Case Tractor

After attending several of the steam reunions in nearby states, a few local engine buffs began discussing the formation of a club in New York. In 1960 Bob Marshall called several of us together and we formed the New York Steam Engine Assn., Inc. Wallis Wood was named first president, Lester Norris Vice Pres., Claude Abbert Secty., and myself as Treasurer.

Several locations were considered for our first reunion and it was decided to hold it here at the Mendon Pioneer Museum grounds in August of 1961. I would have liked the reunions to have continued here, but the majority rules, and when the directors decided to go elsewhere for 1962, I then formed the 'Pioneer Gas Engine Assn.' and began plans for the first Gas show to be held in the east, on August 3-4-5, 1962.

In December of 1961 in the company of the following, Fred Wolfsberger, J.B. Hanggi, H. Hanggi, D. Schoff and Harold Whitbeck, I called a meeting to order and we formed the Pioneer Gas Engine Assn. We held our first reunion here at the Museum grounds in Aug. of 1962. The general public was slow in learning that there were two engine shows the first year, however enough passed thru the gates to keep us in the black and we have continued to gain by more than one third each year since. After our first show we received many inquiries from prospective members, and at our second or 1963 show we compiled a list of such people and invited them to our third annual meeting held on October 27th, here at the Museum grounds.

We congratulate Rev. Ritzman on his foresight in publishing a magazine devoted to our hobby and predict it will grow with each issue and become a 'must for every gas engine hobbyist in the very near future.

At that meeting we elected a new slate of officers, drew up a constitution and by laws and filed incorporation papers so we could sell memberships in the association.

From a handful at the beginning we have grown to a membership well over 200 dedicated and sincere people who are actively interested in the preservation and display of the old time machines which played such a part in the development of our great nation.


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