39th old engine show begins today

August 2, 2012

SCOTTVILLE – I’m not sure I remember a time in my life when I haven’t heard the sputter of a John Deere 2-cylinder tractor. This is a sound that reminds me of home. Ever since I can remember, my dad has been a member of the Western Michigan Old Engine Club.

The club started on the Donahue farm in Pere Marquette Township. Attending it was an annual routine. Back then, my dad had one or two restored John Deeres. Today, I think he’s up to over two dozen.

After a brief move to White Pine Village, the club settled on its new home, just over 20 years ago, in a bog in the southeast corner of Scottville Riverside Park.

“I remember when we couldn’t get past what is now the parking lot,” Estelle Stickney told me. “It was nothing but swamp. We managed to build up the driveway and that lowered the water level.”

That was the first of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of hours put into the showgrounds – all the work done by volunteers.

The show is the big event for the club, but its members are active all year round. Every Wednesday is a work session, either at the grounds or at another location. The members work on projects that mainly prepare the club for the show. About a month before the show, many of the members go to a local farmer’s field at cut hay for the show’s threshing demonstrations. In September is the annual education day for middle schoolers, probably the true highlight for most of the members.

The show began at noon today and will continue through Sunday. Displays will be featured today, Friday and Saturday and there will be a tractor pull on Sunday.

Kids’ day is Saturday with special activities planned.

For more details see www.oldengineclub.org.


Story by Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief