Antique engine show stocked with nostalgia

Our Ashtabula County Antique Engine Club friends have their 38th annual big show scheduled for July 5, 6 and 7. It will be held at their well-kept engine grounds east of Wayne Center on U.S. Route 322. That is convenient for most Geauga, Lake and Trumbull County visitors to attend.

The club always puts on a good show. It also has a number of permanent buildings that are full of interesting exhibits. Its Agricultural Museum has one of the most educational exhibits you will find anywhere.

This exhibit is a progression of equipment from the days when agriculture was all done with hand-operated or man-powered equipment up to today’s more modern tractors, tillage equipment and grain combines. To really appreciate what this means to an adequate food supply at a reasonable cost, one needs to take time to study this progression of equipment.

Another interesting display in the building is old-fashioned milking and milk-cooling equipment. Some of the milk-cooling equipment that was popular back in the 1930s and ’40s would not be legal today. It would be considered unsanitary because it exposed milk — it went over water-cooled tubes and was exposed to the air. It did an efficient job of cooling down the milk quickly.

Another interesting building is the old railroad depot that houses different equipment. Some of it is handheld grain moving equipment. There is also some very old-fashioned washing equipment along with some more modern clothes washing machines.

One end of the building has an old-fashioned dentist shop. You can see how fortunate we are today to have the more modern dental offices and equipment.

There are more buildings for your enjoyment. One that I can relate to is the one-room school house. It is beautifully restored with the old-fashioned, fold-up benches that were used when some of us were in school. It has blackboards at the front and a big heating stove in the middle. The restoration job was excellent.

Near the old school house is the old country store. It might be called the first supermarket because you could buy most anything in that store in its day. It is fascinating to look around.

Near the store is the blacksmith shop. It usually has a blacksmith working in it so you can see what they make and how they do it — along with smelling the pungent odor of smoke.

At the same end of the grounds is a display of steam engines. Ted Seifert, club president, says the show will have something different this year — a steam engine pulling contest. A group of Amish displaying steam engines want to do this and it will be fun.

Each year, a different tractor is featured. This year it will be the Case tractor, so you will see an interesting display of several models of Case tractors.

For those who enjoy flea markets, there will be a big flea market available with most anything you want. It is fun to travel around that market and see what you can buy.

Good food will also be available at the Dinner Bell restaurant. Since demand for its meals causes long lines, plans are made to expand the kitchen. Some logs were sold this year and the income given to the kitchen fund.

Entertainment is usually being held daily in the grove near the pavilion. Some comfortable benches are available for those who want to sit back and enjoy it.

Tractor pulls for children as well as adults will be held. There will be parades and other displays.

So you see there is something for everyone at this show and it is close for our surrounding county visitors. Many club members are also from Trumbull County.

Submitted by John Parker who is retired from The Ohio State University and writes for Farm Bureau.


OFBF Mission: Working together for Ohio farmers to advance agriculture and strengthen our communities.