| May/June 1982

Steam Engine in operation

On a sunny Sunday afternoon in October, 1977, a small group of steam enthusiasts got together to watch Marvin Lucky's steam engine in operation, and to saw wood with an old buzz saw. A log saw was present to slew those logs too large to lift to the buzz saw. It was a fun day and attracted several other interested onlookers. This was followed by a group of gas engine buffs setting up a display of antique machines at the Bogue, Kansas, Cheese-O-Rama in April of 1978. The old engines and machines were a great addition to the show and drew many favorable comments.

A meeting held by the Stockton, Kansas Chamber of Commerce to start a feasibility study to sponsor an antique show in Stockton, attracted about a dozen uninvited guests. While the Chamber held its meeting behind closed doors, these people held a meeting in the street and talked over their interests in old shop and farm machines.

This meeting and much insistent talking by 'Gas Engine' Joe Roy, Stockton, brought about a meeting at his machine shop July 20, 1978. This was the first meeting of record of the Solomon Valley Antique Engine and Machinery Association. The meeting resulted in 30 members. Twenty-two of these members gained Charter Member status by advancing $30 each to buy insurance and buy admission buttons for a show to be held September 30, and October 1, 1978 at the Rooks County Fairgrounds.

The Rooks County Historical Society and the Stockton Chapter of the Lions Club were asked to help with this show.

None of the members have a large number of items to display, and some members haven't any displays. Thus we rely heavily on exhibitors coming from elsewhere. For this reason we have had a great variety of items displayed by a fine group of showmen. Visiting with these people is always a pleasure because it brings the old days alive (so we can better appreciate today) and presents customs unique to the areas from which they come.

We now have 50 members, but 16 families from the Club do the majority of the physical labor. For this reason we rely on other organizations and individuals of the community to help with the show.