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Yester Year in Motion

Author Photo
By Staff

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A circa 1938 Sears Economy tractor as displayed at last year's show. Powered by a rebuilt Ford Model A engine, Sears, Roebuck & Co. first offered the Economy tractor in 1938.
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A quarter-scale 65 HP Case and an American #1 miniature sawmill belonging to Larry DuFour, Cary, N.C., at last year's show.
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Barrett Richards, Apex, N.C., blows whistles and runs small steam engines at last year's show.

My husband, Edward, has been a member of the Jamestown-Union
Hill Lions Club in Jamestown, N.C., for some years now. I have gone
with him to several of the club’s meetings and events, and I
have noticed there is a virus that just kind of passes back and
forth from one club member to another.

Unlike most viruses, this one is not at its worst during the
winter months. Rather, one or two members will get the virus in
January, a couple more contract it around March and a few more
catch it in the spring and early summer. By August and early
September this virus is no longer a little hit-and-miss problem: By
this time it picks up a lot of steam and becomes a full-blown cloud
of black smoke – and like most influenzas it is rather contagious.
Some of our local doctors have named this virus ‘Yester Year in
Motion.’

Origins

The virus originated years ago with Willard Moore. Willard was
somewhat of an heirloom/antique/ junk collector, but his true love
and fascination was with engines – what made them run and how he
could make them run better, smoother, or longer. Willard loved
engines, from the little hit-and-miss engines to the big
steam-powered engines that once powered everything from sawmills,
cranes and shoe factories to ice cream makers and shingle cutters.
There weren’t too many types or sizes that he had not taken
apart, overhauled, put back together and added to his collection at
his Dillon Road farm.

A little over 30 years ago the Jamestown-Union Hill Lions Club,
of which Willard is a charter member, was looking for a way to
raise money to help visually and hearing handicapped people and to
help support Camp Dogwood, a special camp built just a few years
earlier for the visually impaired. Someone suggested that ‘some
people out there’ would pay to see Willard’s collection,
and indeed some did. That was the beginning of ‘Yester Year in
Motion.’

Yester Year offered something for all ages. Older people loved
standing around reminiscing about the good ole days, showing
outdated machinery to younger generations and sharing stories about
how Rumely OilPulls, Galloway hit-and-miss engines, or
International Harvesters operated. The younger generations were
fascinated that anything could produce power without sticking a
plug in the wall, inserting four ‘C’ batteries or flipping
a switch, and getting a cup of fresh apple cider straight from the
cider mill was a refreshment for all ages. The smell of cane
cooking – and knowing there would soon be fresh molasses to taste –
was always an incentive to head for the crusher and the big
cooker.

In October 2000 Willard held an auction and sold off many of his
antique pieces. A lot of people thought that would be the end of
Yester Year in Motion, but 2001 brought another Yester Year and
this year, on Sept. 28, Yester Year celebrates its 30th
anniversary.

The show also offers blacksmithing, horse shoeing, a log sawing
contest and a flea market, and there are plenty of old machines,
engines, tractors and, yes, ‘old geezers’ to explain them
all. Yester Year is like a good marriage: No matter how many years
you’re in it, something new and different happens every year to
keep it exciting.

Contact engine enthusiast Dean Jordan at: 7814 Woodpark
Drive, High Point, NC 27265.

Gas Engine Magazine

Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines