RR 1, Box 51, Chilhowee, Missouri 64733
The Chilhowee Antique Farm Machinery Collectors held their 3rd annual fall show on the 21st, 22nd and 23rd of September, in spite of in climate weather. The day Friday started warm and sunny and it wasn't long before activities could be noted over the entire show ground. Firing away, the old stationary engines were lined up along the hedge row. Always a crowd pleaser, we had several good, well restored engines running through out the show.
Just down the hill, the sawmill was providing entertainment as well as turning out lumber to be used in a club member's building project. Several different power units spent time on the saw mill, which was operated by Mr. Harley Thomas of Butler, Mo. Mr. Thomas had built the portable mill and is truly the master of its operation. Friday, the main motive power for the mill was a styled AR John Deere, owned by Mr. Henry Boehler, Clinton, Mo. On Saturday, Herb Best's 1930 E 25-40 Allis Chalmers spent some time on the mill, a job which it had enjoyed on a regular basis some thirty years ago.
Power for the threshing rig, a 28' McCormick Deering, was provided by Gary Davis' 1931 F-30 Farmall, while the baler, a 1920's International, was powered by Whit Hanes' 1938 A John Deere. The baled straw was later used for seating for the tractor pull.
The beautiful draft horses were at work pulling wagons and plowing. The men displaying these horses worked hard showing and working these fine animals. A well-deserved thanks goes out to the men on our horse committee and those who showed horses. Namely, some of these men were, Leonard Mothersbaugh, Rev. Warren Haley, Paul Poort, Emery Adair, and Mr. Vincel Daugherty. Their efforts with the horses and the mini-mules were greatly appreciated.
The weathermen had been saying we were to have a drastic weather change and at about 6 o'clock in the evening, the weather cooperated with the meteorologists instead of us. In one hour, the temperatures had dropped almost 20 degrees, not to mention the showers which dampened, thoroughly, the remaining crowd. The bon-fire for the usual weiner roast sure felt good and the crowd lingered for some time around it. An area country music group, The Missouri Travelers, provided some fine entertainment, in spite of the miserable conditions.
Saturday got off to a good start bright and early with the girls in the cook shack providing hot biscuits and gravy for the early arrivers and workers. I might add, they were quite good, also. Thank you girls for your efforts at feeding us and our crowd. This day was to be a very busy day, and activity started very early. The men at the scales were weighing in tractors for the antique tractor pull to be held, we hoped, in the afternoon. Sorghum was being cut with a newly restored 1 row John Deere corn binder owned and operated by Gary and Lloyd Strate of Holden, MO. Pulling the binder was Gary's 1935 Oliver 70.
The horsemen were having harnessing demonstrations up by the announcer's platform. Several contests were held and enjoyed by all who participated.
The sorghum mill was powered by a couple of Belgian horses and was kept busy producing juice to be turned into molasses. This took considerable time so there was activity all day long around the mill, as we also squeezed the cane for the cooking to be done on Sunday.
The threshing machine was repositioned as the wind was changing. Also, more threshing was done and the straw baling operation needed room. This was the last threshing and baling done because the weather worsened before long. The baler was powered for some time, Saturday, by Maurice Hamlin's model steam engine, which provided plenty of power and more entertainment. Maurice had his beautiful model steamed all three days of the show.
Mr. Haston St. Clair's beautiful 13 horse Reeves steam engine was brought in Saturday morning and was soon moving about the grounds. Dave Jowett of Bates City was the engineer for Mr. St. Clair and did a superb job of showing and maintaining the engine, as well as maintaining his own model steam engine. David put the big Reeves in the belt and powered the saw mill most of Saturday afternoon.
The track received final preparation, including a watering to keep down the dust, and the stage was set for the tractor pull. Immediately after the parade, the pull started. We had 64 entries in all and for the most part, they stuck it out, even through the bad weather and pulled. About 1 hours into the pull, the rain started and before the final tractor was to pull we were having more of a mud marathon than a tractor pull. Nevertheless, the crowd stayed and the show went on. The rain and cooler temperatures picked up business at the cook shack and the girls were busier than ever.
Saturday evening found us gathered around the fire again for the weiner roast and into the tents for an evening's musical entertainment. These tents were provided by the Missouri National Guard and were very much appreciated.
Sunday dawned cool and wet, but our tents provided shelter for the Sunday morning worship service. After this hour of inspiration, other activities started. Today was to be our draft horse pull, but the weather hindered this, too, and kept many teams from making it to our show. Those that did show, however, put on a good pull between showers and the crowd was well entertained. Once again a special thanks to the horse committee for their efforts, and maybe the 1986 show will bring better weather for their activities.
The work at the sawmill was finished early in the afternoon and the mill was disassembled and the lumber loaded up. The sorghum cooking was still far from done, however, as the humidity kept it from setting in its usual fashion.
The men with the tractors said they still had a crowd and used the breaks in the weather for their own kind of entertainment. We had a fast-start contest, a slow race, a slow reverse race, a fast reverse race, a fast forward race in both low and high gears! and other tractor rodeo events including 4 wheel wagon backing and who knows what else. The track was a lob-lolly and we therefore decided to have these events on the adjoining grass area.
Several tractors were loaded out and headed for home, but it's hard to end the show when you've worked so hard, and were still, believe it or not, having a good time. Awards were given for the best restored engines and tractors, the oldest tractor, and for services.
A wind storm hit about dark, picked up the tents and dropped them on the ground, not to mention the near carrying away of the molasses tent which some of us were still in! It fairly well wrecked things, but it's all cleaned up now and work is already underway, preparing for our 1986 show, scheduled for September 19, 20 and 21. Some new equipment for display has already been obtained and will be in working order by show time. Plan to join us because, come rain or shine, the show 'must go on', or we might surely bust our seams. We're on the grow and on the go and we're here to preserve the past, share it with the present and pass it on to the future.