AMERICAN CORNER — A big rainstorm Friday afternoon, Aug. 2, may have watered down Caroline County, but the 59th Annual Old-Time Wheat Threshing, Steam & Gas Engine Show only got three drops, according to Butch Biesecker of Bear, Del.
Officials reported near-perfect weather Friday through Sunday for the annual show at the showgrounds, located on state Route 313 between Denton and Federalsburg.
Biesecker was happily testing the sharpness of giant, 4-foot diameter saw blades Saturday afternoon before they cut into some Leyland cypress trees to make shingles, under the power of an antique steam engine.
For nearly 60 years that quiet field off of Route 313, way out in the boonies, comes to life one weekend a year with hundreds of people, hundreds of cars, rows and rows of tents and scores of antique vehicles.
Steam traction engines, each over a hundred years old, chugged through the showgrounds all day long on Saturday, their drivers pausing every so often to stoke them with coal.
A steady stream of gasoline-powered vintage tractors, antique cars and a host of other highly interesting vehicles made for great rubbernecking.
Under the eaves of the exhibit buildings, there were antique stationary steam and gasoline engines busy working as they would have in industrial settings a century ago. There were also working model steam engines and a miniature steam train.
Kids of all ages enjoyed riding “Smokey Joe,” a miniature steam train which is a replica of the Civil War era “General” locomotive.
Shingle-making, wheat-threshing, rock-crushing and other demonstrations drew crowds Saturday and continue on Sunday. There is also broom making, basketweaving, spinning and home arts demonstrations in more quiet venues.
Blacksmith Mark Williams of Snow Hill is spending his 24th year at the Threshermen’s show, mostly making iron puzzles and other decorative items from horse shoes. His forge was stoked and ready for business on Friday and Saturday, and will be continuing on Sunday.
The music of “Country Express” filled the air on Friday evening and “Flatland Drive” made for toe-tapping bluegrass on Saturday evening. Music was sponsored by Towers Concrete.
Sunday began with a church service at 9 a.m. Afternoon activities included a kiddie tractor pull at 1 p.m., a grand parade of equipment at 4 p.m. and music to finish the show.
For more information, call 410-673-2414, 410-754-8422 or visit the Eastern Shore Threshermen & Collectors Association, Inc. on Facebook.