Salt River Acres Show


| June/July 1990



Operating sawmill

775 N. Homer Road, Midland, Michigan 48640

Even without the cooperation of Mother Nature, the Salt River Engine Show was a huge success. What seemed like a torrential downpour, leaving ankle deep puddles in its wake, was not enough to dampen the exhibitors' or spectators' spirits. All the water merely provided participants with nice dust control.

The engine exhibit had more than doubled, with over 250 engines. The engines effortlessly performed the duties of washing clothes, shelling and grinding corn, and baling miniature bales of hay. An 1896 Otto, owned by Charles and Shirley Keyser, was on display and attracted close observation due to its uncommonness.. The number of tractors on exhibit increased by leaps and bounds while a brake fan stood nearby so owners could check their tractors' strength, then cajole friends into testing their tractors for comparison.

We were fortunate to have Loren and Lola Stein donate some aromatic cedar to cut on the shingle mill. The fragrant shingles went like hotcakes, which made it difficult to keep up with the demand. Two blacksmiths, with their forges ready, were prepared to brand the shingles with the show name and date, transforming the shingle into an ideal souvenir.

An operating sawmill was powered by Gil Schrock's Frick steam engine. A lot of logs passed through its blade to become rough lumber. The popcorn kettle ran all day and was a very popular exhibit. We only wish we could find some way to keep our popcorn poppers cool. That is one hot job standing over a cast iron kettle stirring pounds of popcorn.

Gerald 'Mac' McCullen hitched his horses up to a wagon loaded with hay and gave shuttle rides from the parking area to the exhibition grounds. This added feature delighted many youngsters and their moms and dads too.