DARKE COUNTY — The 58th Annual Reunion of the Darke County Steam Threshers Association went as planned over the weekend thanks to the good holiday weekend weather, said organizers.
Gary Hummel of Darke County’s North Star pulled a 1951 Cockshutt 40 tractor during Saturday’s Tractor Pull in Division II. In one event his tractor pulled 25,500 pounds 26,319 feet with the 64-year-old tractor.
The tractor enthusiast said there were not as many pulls as one would like to see this year because of events going on simultaneously in Troy and Van Wert.
“It’s still a great day to pull,” he said.
The Steam Threshers Reunion was first held in 1956 as a small one-day picnic on a field in Greenville and now holds it at the organization’s York Woods. It provides an event where agriculture equipment and practices of the past may be displayed and demonstrated for education and heritage.
Association member Dave Petitgean added that new this year at the reunion is the steam calliope. It played music using a steam engine and 47 whistles.
“It’s the first it has been here in many years from Miamisburg, owned by Kitch Greenhouses and was the second steam calliope also known as a steam organ built by Clovis Wetkins,” he said.
“What makes us different from them [other shows] is we have the equipment running and doing stuff,” he said. The reunion featured 10 full-sized steam engines and 10 model steam engines and the use of steam engines to thrash and bind wheat, saw lumber and plow. The weekend reunion also held kids games, skills tests, flea markets and concessions.
One pull on Saturday was between two steam engines.
“It was an exhibition pull,” said tractor driver John Hulp of Arcanum. He burned wood and coal to power his 1910 Advance of 20 horsepower. It made 150 pounds of steam pressure to the maximum for his tractor. The tractor enthusiast said his family comes from farming and they own several of the tractors built years ago in Battlecreek, Mich.
Save the date for next year as the group meets July 2 through July 5, 2015 featuring Frick steam engines, Oliver/Hart Parr tractors and Bessemer engines.