OLD TIME POWER:

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Horse &. wagon rides provide something for the whole family- important philosophy to Hudson Club.
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Club Pres. Frank Pflegl with his 1903 Chase shingle mill, sold April 10, 1903 in Shandaken, NY. The Chase Mfg. Co. of Orange, MA is still in business manufacturing woodworking machinery.
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2 HP Aeromotor from early teens owned by S. B. Voorhees of Hudson, NY.
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1918 18 HP Wisconsin, owner S. B. Boorhes, Sr., Hudson.
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The club's 110 HP Ingersoll-Rand Diesel air compressor.
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1 HP Dieter owned by Russell S. Meixell, Nazareth, PA.
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4 HP Foos, owned by James Boice, Salt Point, NY.

3 Washington Street Brattleboro, Vermont, 05301

The lovely upper Hudson River Valley area of New York State is
rich in history-both factual and fictional. You might expect to
find Rip Van Winkle asleep under a tree, a Dutch patroon gazing
over the river from the door of his hilltop manor, or Ichabod Crane
rushing off to the local schoolhouse. There is that air of the
historic that seems to pervade this part of New York State.

The first weekend in August each year another sort of history
comes alive in the Hudson Valley with the annual show of the Hudson
Valley Old Time Power Association. The club held its 12th annual
show July 31-August 2, 1987. Despite a bit of showers on the last
day, the show was a big success with about 200 exhibitors and the
public alike enjoying a fine time.

Club President, Frank Pflegl’s business card reads:
‘Restoration and Preservation of Rural America’s Power and
Machinery of Yesteryear.’ ‘Yesteryear’ was certainly
alive and well at Hudson Valley last summer in the form of a pole
barn museum filled with old time tools and hand machinery, an
operating blacksmith shop, old time tractors, antique cars, and
hundreds of gas engines putt-putting away. The show provided
something for everyone-crafts display in the main building,
beautiful team of oxen on display, a cross cut contest, slow race,
horse and wagon rides, the starting and running of the club’s
‘Big Engine,’ and even a parade of tractors, old cars and
oxen through the grounds.

A main feature of the 20 acre showgrounds at Hudson Valley is
the club’s ‘Big Engine’ with its own protective
building. Pictured in this article, the engine is a 110HP
Ingersoll-Rand diesel air compressor donated to the Hudson Valley
Club in 1979 by David Rion of Prattsville, New York. This piece of
machinery has its own unique history. It was originally built in
Painted Post, New York and used in the construction of the Holland
Tunnel 1920-1926. Later moved to Windham, New York, it was used
solely for making snow at the Windham Ski Area, the privte ski
slope of the Kennedy’s when JFK was president. Since all the
engines specs were lost in a flood in Painted Post, the club
restored it to running order ‘by guess and by gosh!’

Frank Pflegl and his brother George tell of how the club began
12 years ago with 12 to 14 charter members each ‘throwing some
money in the kitty as an interest free loan.’ They bought the
20 acres of showgrounds and in January 1987 were able to pay back
the charter members and pay off the mortgage! Besides the separate
buildings that house the Big Engine, the blacksmith shop, the pole
barn museum, and the main building, there is a large refreshment
stand and rest rooms. The club has future plans for a craft barn
for the women.

What is the secret of success of this obviously successful club?
‘We are fortunate, ‘say Frank Pflegl, ‘that we have a
group of five to six retired members who are the backbone of the
work detail. They work at the grounds every Tuesday and without
them we wouldn’t have what we’ve got.

‘Also, our club is a family affair. Our membership cards
even read ‘and family’. We looked at other clubs, picked
apart what they do that we like and what they do that we don’t
like. We’ve tried to learn from their mistakes.’

The Hudson Valley Old Time Power Association has nearly 200
members. Their monthly meeting- the third Wednesday of each
month-brings out 35 to 40 for each meeting. Often members will
bring to the meeting an old machine, knowing that someone will know
what to do to get it running.

‘One year,’ say Pflegl, ‘near Christmas time we
tried to cancel our monthly meeting, but no go!’

In addition to the annual show, this club also hosts a
commission auction each year in May. The 1988 date is May 14th. The
auction has grown bigger each year, now running from 10 a.m. to
5:30 p.m. with two auctioneers and five computers to handle the
paper work. In 1987 the auction brought $43,000 into the club’s
treasury and drew auction-goers from all over this country and
Canada.

Frank Pflegl sums it all up: ‘We started out to have a good
time with this club. Once we lose sight of that, we’re out of
the game.’ At last August’s show Pflegl grinned and
surveyed the 20 acres of bustling history: ‘You know, we just
come here to play with our toys and invite the public to
‘watch.’

In 1988 Hudson Valley show is scheduled for August 6 & 7,
with the 5th as a set-up day. Don’t miss it!

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Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines