The 'Gathering of the Orange' has become the symbol of the annual gathering held around the country for all those people who are collectors and/or enthusiasts of the Allis-Chalmers orange, related memorabilia, scale model toy reproductions, or the history of the Allis-Chalmers tractor.
Although the 'Gathering of the Orange' wasn't the symbol of this event at the outset, it was in 1983 that a group of Allis-Chalmers enthusiasts gathered in Freeport, Illinois to show off the 'orange' of the line.
The summer before, a group of these enthusiasts had been at the Stephenson County Antique Engine Club Show at Freeport and talked about a gathering there the following year. In 1982 the Allis-Chalmers line had been featured at Waukee, Iowa, and this had made a group think about doing it on an annual basis.
Soon after the discussion at Freeport, talk began about a newsletter for the Allis-Chalmers collectors and enthusiasts, and during the winter this was pursued. An initial sheet went out to about 100 known collectors. This first newsletter stated The Old Allis News was going to be published for the collectors and enthusiasts, and it also announced the show featuring Allis-Chalmers at Freeport in 1983.
The show proved to be a success, and plans were made for the following year with the group meeting at Dalton, Minnesota. Although it wasn't as large a show and the weatherman didn't always cooperate, the enthusiasm of the group had not lessened.
Since that time shows have been held every summer at different locations around the Midwest. This group of enthusiastic people have met at Baraboo, Wisconsin; Portland, Indiana; Wauseon, Ohio; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Edgerton, Wisconsin; Madison, South Dakota; Marion, Ohio; and Waverly, Nebraska.
It wasn't until 1988 that the name of the event became 'The Gathering of the Orange.' Although there are some green Allis-Chalmers from the early years, and quite often the Rumely line is included in the display, the meeting is a symbol of the Allis-Chalmers line of orange tractors.
Each show where the gathering has been held has put a great deal of work into the preliminary process, making sure that things are ready for the event which is a part of their show. The enthusiasm of the Allis-Chalmers group seems to precede the show and never wanes during the event. It has not only become a 'gathering of the orange,' but also an annual gathering of friends who in many cases only see each other on a yearly basis.
There is no formal membership with this group. It has been run solely by people who are interested and who care about the orange. An advisory board works with those shows which wish to host the group. All that is required is to be a collector or enthusiast of Allis-Chalmers, and be willing to share the pleasure of participating or attending 'The Gathering of the Orange.'
The Camp Creek show at Waverly hosted people from 18 states and Canada in 1992. Marion, Ohio, had visitors from 16 states and Canada, and the 1990 show in South Dakota had a family attend from Tasmania. It is anticipated that the Freeport show will also draw collectors, enthusiasts and visitors from a wide area.
Future shows are already in the planning stages, with invitations in place for Ellerton, Ontario, Canada, and Le-Sueur, Minnesota, in 1994; Georgetown, Ohio, in 1995; Clay Center, Nebraska, and additional interest for 1996; and a waiting list for the following years.
Further information may be obtained by contacting The Old Allis News, Pleasant Knoll, 10925 Love Road, Bellevue, Michigan 49021.