1973 REPORT


| March/April 1974



HP Western engine

Donald G. Beach

2734 Chaffee St., National City, California 92050

The year just past has produced it's share of joy and hardships for most of us, but in retrospect it must be counted as a time well spent for those associated with the Early Day Gas Engines and Tractors. We (some three hundred seventy-one at latest count) have joined together in 'adults at play' grand style a number of times. These include the International Date Festival at Indio, California in Feb., the Antelope Valley Fair in Lancaster, California in Sept., the Tropico Gold Camp event near Rosamond, California in March. The largest event of the year again was the Santee Lakes Festival at Santee, California in June. Our Fall meeting was at the Orange County Fairgrounds in October and there were other activities which deserve much comment also. The Swap Meet, held at Al Krueger's place in Long Beach was a notable attraction. The Hemet Fair and the Orange County Fair drew large crowds of people eager to view these strange snorting, hissing, popping and slushing iron monsters from an earlier day.

All-in-all it has been a busy year with many of the members of Branch 9 involved in a wide variety of club activities. As we hope the accompanying pictures will show, we performed the usual stunts involving our old iron and equipment, such as pumping water (great quantities of it in some instances, like when Wes Hamilton and Jim Wyse fired up the Clark four-banger and belted it to a 6-inch pump to squirt water half way across Santee lake). We ground enough corn to feed all the chickens that are left in San Diego County with some left over to export to Logan County, Nebraska! The girls baked corn bread and iron-pot beans in the Country Kitchen enough for half a dozen overage threshing crews -- and passed out samples to all those fortunate people who chanced to pass that way when the oven was opened. Old fashioned ice cream, frozen with ice and salt and turned by hand, was another delicacy enjoyed by a large and appreciative group of youngsters (to age 83).

An activity which has received too little attention has been one of the busiest at all the events. This is the publications stand set up and operated by John Molamphy. Perhaps it would be more accurate to state that the operation was by Ruth Molamphy and Ida Ashbeck -- as John seems to be frequently off chasing something or other at the far reaches of the fair grounds!

Perhaps it would be well to make a few comments in regard to specifics of some of the shows we have been involved in this past year. At the Santee Lakes Festival, which is located in Santee, near El Cajon, California we counted ninety-one engines, ten tractors, four model engines, and fifty-seven pieces of operating equipment. The 5th Fall Show at the Fair Grounds in Costa Mesa, California attracted sixty-five gas engines, two steam engines, fourteen tractors, six pieces of tractor equipment, and thirty pieces of other operating equipment. As the Spring Show was held in conjunction with the Santee Lakes Festival, the Festival crowd of several thousand people helped to add to the old engine festivities. The Fall Show was held after the Orange County Fair, at which we sponsored a display, this giving us some publicity which attracted a large crowd of spectators -- some of whom became so interested that they joined the club and started collecting old iron on their own account.

Top left - 50 HP Western engine restored and exhibited by Greg Johnson of Anaheim,; top right- Heider tractor by Rock Island Plow Co.restored and exhibited by Eric Rosehau from Villa Park; bottom left -10 HP Fairbanks-Morse restored and exhibited by Al Krueger of Long Beach and bottom right photo is an oil well steam engine, circa 1872, restored and exhibited by Jim Bove of Los Angeles - all cities are in California. Pictures by Greg Johnson. - California Early Day Gas & Engine 9 Tractor Assn.