August 1992

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The New York Steam Engine Association

and its

Pageant of Steam


Bill Treichler

The 32nd "Pageant of Steam" will be held August 6 through 9 on the grounds of the New York Steam Engine Association 3 miles east of Canandaigua just off highway 5 and 20 on Gehan Road. Since 1961 when the first show was held on Bob Marshall's place near Holcomb, steam enthusiasts have been coming to the annual gatherings. Last year more than 12,000 people came to the event—some camped out for the whole four-day affair.

If you are fascinated by steam engines, you will find there Frick and Case steam traction engines, a Buffalo-Springfield steam-driven road roller, an 8 hp. S. W. Wood made in 1905 at Clyde, Wayne County, New York, fired up and running, along with other antique internal combustion tractors and engines.

There will be massive Advance-Rumely and Hart-Parr traction engines with drive wheels more than head high, many early farm tractors, and dozens of stationary engines. Every day there is an almost continuous parade of tractors. Several times a day the steamers and gasoline-fueled tractors will be belted up to a threshing machine, a sawmill, or a shingle mill and you can watch grain being separated, logs cut into boards, and wood shingles sliced. Some of the engines are tried out on a Baker Fan which tests their belt power with a steady load that increases as the fan velocity accelerates.

At 6 o'clock on Friday and Saturday evenings there will be antique tractor pulls. The association has set up weight classifications for the tractors and has a scale ready to weigh tractors this year.

On Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings there will be live music at the Dining Hall Pavilion. The Fiddlesticks play at noon on Saturday, and the Dundee Steel Band on Sunday. Many people come with their campers and stay for the whole show to be sure to see and hear all of the events and to renew their acquaintances with other engine "nuts." Breakfast is served at 7:00, lunch from 11:00; food is available all day at the association's three refreshment stands.

This year the Association bought the adjoining Gehan farm and added 100 acres for additional parking. Admission is $3 and parking is free. The camping fee is $4 a night. Membership in the New York Steam Engine Association costs $4 for an individual or $6 for a family and brings you the Association's bulletin 6 times a year with notices of many events. Members meet on the last Sunday of each month at the Association's grounds in the summer, and at the Hopewell Firehouse during the winter. There are about 650 members from all over New York State, this country, Canada, and even overseas.

On September 19th and 20th the Fall Festival will be held at the "Steam Grounds" with cider pressing and other activities. The Thresherman's Dinner, the annual meeting for the New York Steam Engine Assn., will be held October 25th at the Stanley Firehouse. Gary Love, Smith Road, Canandaigua, is president; David Hey, 1090 Voak Road, Penn Yan, is vice president; and Marge Jensen, Castle Road, Geneva is secretary.

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