agricultural history

Plans going full steam ahead for this year’s Essex County Steam & Gas Engine Show

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Preparations are underway for the 34th annual Essex County Steam & Gas Engine Show.

Presented by the Essex County Steam & Gas Engine Museum, the show will be held Aug. 10-12 at Co-An Park in McGregor. Club members helped get ready by using a nearly 100-year-old binder to take wheat off of a field owned by Amherstburg resident Tony Simon. The field is at the corner of Concession 5 North and Middle Side Road (County Road 10).

Club president Gary Struhar indicated there will be several attractions this year including sawmill and threshing demonstrations, a tractor pull Saturday that is open to the public, a tractor pull Sunday that is sanctioned by the Ontario Vintage Tractor Pullers Association and more.

Morris Kurzuk sits atop a binder that was used to take wheat off of a field recently. This was in preparation for next month’s Essex County Steam & Gas Engine Show in McGregor.

Wheat that was taken off the field last Friday will be used as part of the threshing machine demonstrations.

“We have live entertainment Saturday and Sunday with four different bands,” said Struhar.

The Aug. 11 parade will see antique tractors leave from the parking lot at St. Clement’s Church, head south down Walker Road to Concession 11 before taking a left turn and heading east to Co-An Park. That Saturday morning parade starts at 9 a.m. Those interested in joining the parade can contact Donna Hanson at 519-816-4966 or via e-mail at donbak63@hotmail.com.

Opening ceremonies will follow the parade, said Struhar.

John Deere will be the featured tractor this year with two tents to be set up at Co-An Park to display tractors of that brand. Many of the tractors and other John Deere equipment will come from the collection of Amherstburg resident Darwin Wismer.

There will also be children’s games including “turkey in the straw” where tokens will be placed in a pile of straw and kids can get them out and redeem them on food or prizes.

“It keeps the kids amused,” said Struhar.

A binder that is nearly 100-years-old takes wheat off of a field at the corner of Concession 5 North and Middle Side Road recently. The binder is one of several pieces of antique farming equipment that will be on display as part of the Essex County Steam & Gas Engine Show Aug. 10-12 at Co-An Park. The wheat will also be used in the threshing machine during the show.

The idea behind the Essex County Steam & Gas Engine Show is so that the museum can further educate people about agriculture.

“It’s to show the people and to educate them on days gone by,” said Struhar.

The show runs Aug. 10 from 12-6 p.m., Aug. 11 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Aug. 12 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Admission is $6 for adults, seniors half price on Friday, children 6-12 years of age $2 and children under six free. A three-day pass is $12.

For further information on the show or the museum, visit www.essexsteamandgasengine.com or their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/EssexCountySteamandGasMuseum.

Essex County’s 33rd annual Steam and Gas Engine Show showcases history for another year

 

By Jolene Perron

 

From tractor pulls, to their annual chicken and rib dinner, the 33rd annual Essex County Steam and Gas Engine show showcased pieces of history at Co-An Park over the weekend.

Justin Flood follows his son Brennan, age 2, around the Essex County Steam & Gas Engine show while he explores as many tractors as possible Saturday.

Justin Flood follows his son Brennan, age 2, around the Essex County Steam & Gas Engine show while he explores as many tractors as possible Saturday.

The festival in McGregor has a reputation for bringing city and county families together for a day in the sun. Mitchell Schinkel was following his two-year-old son around the festival, who he said is just obsessed with tractors. His father, Ben, said Connor takes after his father.

“I used to take him when he was little,” said Ben. “He loved tractors when he was young. We do a lot of work for farmers, and this is supporting the farmers, and we have an interest in tractors ourselves.”

Brothers Arnold and Wayne Surtees look at a 1972 international Model 1066 at the Essex County Steam & Gas Engine show Saturday.

Brothers Arnold and Wayne Surtees look at a 1972 international Model 1066 at the Essex County Steam & Gas Engine show Saturday.

Exhibitors like the McGuire family have been a part of the festival since it began. Mark McGuire said he likes to carry on his father’s legacy, especially since he just passed away in December.

“Mark’s dad has a private museum of antiques on the farm, and this was dad’s thing, to bring things from his museum out,” said Mark’s wife Cori. “He just loved to be with people.”

Steam Gas and Engine Show-17

In addition to the McGuire family’s antique farming equipment, Mark brings out his vintage bicycles, which he said is the only thing his father didn’t collect. It also serves as a preview for their vintage bicycle show, which will be at their farm during the last weekend of August.

“I think it’s a great history lesson for kids,” said Cori. “Kids come here and, especially city kids, they see tractors. They walk around with their eyes wide open, they get to learn about the past, and it’s a nice slow kind of a day. You see people talking to each other. It’s a nice day to just slow down and enjoy county life.”