Seventh Annual DAYS OF YESTERYEAR

By Staff
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Remodeled the garage
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Mom and the Maytag.
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50 HP Case Engine
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1912 8 HP Russell.

1095 Woodmoor Dr. Monument, Colorado 80132

Each year seems to be different, but still the same. We must
have had a good show in 1987, because all year long people talked
about the good time they had last year. Some of the people had not
attended, but had heard about it from friends. They told me that
they planned to attend this year and most all of them did. We have
doubled our attendance from each previous year. This year we had
three times as many people as last year. We feel we must be doing
something right.

The guest list shows that people came from forty-seven cities
and towns in Colorado. There were guests from fourteen states this
year. A party from Japan stopped by on their tour of the U.S.A.

This was the first year we had a two day show. It seemed to work
out well. Some people came Saturday but could not make it Sunday.
Some had to work Saturday but were there Sunday. I believe most
people came both days.

For you people that have not had the pleasure to attend our
shows, let me tell you a little about what we try to do. As you can
tell by the name of our club, ‘Days of Yesteryear’, we try
to give the audience a chance to view yesterday. As you tour our
show you can see the equipment, animals, crafts, and all the goings
on that were the way of life on the farm in the early part of the
century. We try to give you a cross section of what happened on
your folks’ or grand folks’ place in the summer time. There
are tractors, engines, horse drawn equipment, steam engines, steam
powered tools, cars, and trucks. We try to show the farm family,
their labors, crafts, toys, and social settings.

The farmer had a hard life. But he took time to make these
chores enjoyable. The men were always in competition with each
other, and even themselves. They tried to plow more land, pull
bigger loads, plant straighter rows, have greener hay, bigger
wheat, oat, and corn plants. This was competition of necessity. The
better they could produce, the better their life.

The women were just as competitive. Their job was to provide
sustenance to the family. Their skills were many. As their
proficiency advanced things happened. Blankets became beautiful
quilts, table throws became lace table cloths, wooden chairs now
had needlepoint seats and backs, clothes that were just serviceable
now became well fitted. They took pride in being able to spin finer
yarn, make whiter soap. They made their homes beautiful by drying
summer flowers to display in the winter, weaving wheat straw into
dolls, wreaths and ornaments. They took corn husks and made dolls.
Some even used apples to make the faces. The hay and threshing runs
afforded them a place to show what they had learned to do with
food.

I was raised on a farm just outside of Farmer City, Illinois and
can remember the feasts. You had to work hard, but never went
hungry. Most of the homes could not handle twenty or thirty hungry
men in the dining room. My mother fed the men out in the yard under
the maple trees. I can remember two old garage doors that Dad had
saved when we remodeled the garage. These were set on saw horses to
serve as outdoor tables. Always there was a choice of several main
dishes: beef, ham, pork, chicken. Also sweet and mashed potatoes,
corn, peas, beans, pies, cakes, jams, and jellies.

The size of the show and government regulations prevent us from
showing you the food part of farm life. We have been able to show
you how to: make lye soap, use scraps to make quilts, weave wheat
straw, make corn husk dolls, shear sheep, spin wool, and weave
cloth. We have shown dolls and doll furniture and what it looked
like when your mother was young, how toys worked powered by steam
engines. We have had blacksmiths make horse shoes, wrought iron
designs made on a wooden forge, what butter looks and tastes like
before and after, and many more aspects of farm life.

The men are able to show their tractors. Some of these tractors
are the actual ones that they drove on the home farm when they were
young. We had a tractor pull both days. We used an inclined sled
that was hand made by some of the club members. Twenty of these
antique tractors hooked onto the sled, so you could see and hear
what went on in the fields. There was red, yellow, gray, and green
iron, all of them huffing and puffing to the fullest extent of
their ability. You could see pride in the faces of these men, as
well as the days and months of love and sweat and tears that went
into the restoration of these tractors.

How many of you have seen a three horse hitch pulling a breaking
plow? A few I suppose, but how about the same scene with two young
colts haltered to their mother’s side while they worked! They
didn’t leave the colts in the barn, they were in the field to
get exercise and to learn what plowed ground feels like.

We also had a horse powered baler. The team walked in a circle
around the power unit. The unit is connected to the baler with two
rods that cause the baler to make two compression strokes per
revolution. The men with the horses gave wagon rides to everyone
all day long.

As you toured the show you could see what threshing was like
before combines. There was a thresher built before the advent of
straw blowers. It had a conveyor to pile the straw. It did not have
a grain elevator to put the clean grain in the wagon. To do this,
men had to catch the grain in baskets and carry it to the
wagon.

You could see steam engines, hear whistles, get smoke in your
eyes, get hot cinders down your collar, and watch the drivers line
up to the equipment. If you got there early you could watch the
fireman build fires for the boilers. The old timers used to race to
see who could get up steam first without showing smoke.

The engine display had dozens of engines and the machines that
they powered. Some just sat there and chugged away by themselves,
others were belted up to run grinders, shellers, cleaners, water
pumps, and washing machines. Some of them were air cooled, some
water cooled, some steam powered, some gas, and some kerosene. Most
of them have been salvaged from junk piles and, with lots of blood,
sweat and tears, are once again running. You could see a cross
section of farming fifty years ago.

This year I haven’t listed individual people as in the past.
The show has grown to such extent that I cannot give credit to each
and every one. This is not to be taken as a lack of appreciation,
because if it weren’t for all the workers, friends, exhibitors,
and staff, this show which I think is one of the ‘best in the
West’ would not exist.

If any of you out there would like to share your time, talents,
tales, and/or exhibits at this year’s show on August 5 & 6,
please contact: Days of Yesteryear, Glenn Mallet, President, 1915
Murphy Rd., Payton, Colorado 80831.

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