Birth Of A Club


| June/July 1992



4 HP Alamo Engine by Vernon Boulrice

4 HP Alamo owned and exhibited by Vernon Boulrice.

Sec., Box 560, Station Street, Altona, New York 12910

For years now there was a group of four families who used to travel to gas engine shows together. Three of the families lived in the same area. Scott Sartwell, his dad Merrill, Timothy Lincourt, and Vernon Boulrice often talked about forming a club, as there are none in this area.

One night in February of 1991, the Boulrices and the Sartwells got together and started the wheels of progress in motion. Marie wrote an article for the area newspapers, radio stations and TV station stating the formation of an 'antique gas engine and tractor association in upstate New York.' Scott took pictures to accompany the article so people would know what a gas engine looks like because, believe it or not, there are many people who have never seen an engine. We have a hometown cable TV channel which covers items of local interest. Tim Lincourt was able to get us a spot on which he appeared with the Sartwells. We were off and running.

Our first meeting was held at the V.F.W. in Plattsburgh on April 8,1991. We had seven people attend our first meeting. Scott Sartwell was elected president, Tim Lincourt vice president, and Marie Boulrice secretary-treasurer. Members of the board of directors were Merrill Sartwell, Donald Deso, Earl Brant and Robert Clark. We selected the name of Champlain Valley Antique Gas Engine and Tractor Association. After checking the dates of other shows, we decided to host our annual exhibition on the second weekend in July. We were so confident it would take off that we planned our first annual show. 

We operated on a shoestring in the finance department, with many of us donating items and monies until we were on our feet. We had hopes of using the fairgrounds in our county but their fees were beyond our reach. Two of our new members, Don Deso and Earl Brant, were from Essex County and they said they would approach the people at their fairgrounds. Great news was brought back to the club. The people at Essex County Fairgrounds, at Westport, New York were eager to help us get our club started. We only had to get our own insurance, which they were able to get as a rider on their policy, thus saving the club money, and pay $25.00 towards the light bill. The man who ran the concession stand at fair time agreed to open it for our group. Things were falling into place like a nicely laid out puzzle.

By this time each member had been able to recruit new members, thus we had a little capital to work with from membership dues. We ordered hats, T-shirts, buttons and plaques. Some of the members paid for these items, and after the show we were able to repay them.