I am not sure I can do justice to the exhibition “100 Years of Progress” this weekend held at Ederville, just outside of Carthage, but I am going to try.
I am remiss to say that I have never been to this annual event, but I can say that I will never miss another one. I am not sure what I was expecting as I arrived but the sheer magnitude took my breath away.
A bird’s eye view
There were at least a thousand people when we arrived Sunday afternoon. Parking was easy with people directing you down rows of cars in a large pasture beside the event. At the edge of the parking area, you could purchase your wristband for the event. And what an event it was.
A wood fire steam engine
The first thing that we saw coming past us was an enormous tractor with wheels that looked to be iron, and they had to be over 8 feet tall. There was one man driving the tractor and another tossing firewood into the wood-fired steam engine. I couldn’t help but marvel at the huge deep tracks left by this beast of a machine as it rumbled past. There were tractors everywhere from old steam engines to large CAT machinery and John Deere tractors of old right up to modern age. There was even a display of old toy tractors through the years. Rumor has it that the number of machines on the property now exceed 1,100. After today, I can believe it.
As we made our way through the exhibits, we came across a mill where steam engines were operating saws and cutting wood. Speaking of wood, we got to watch the lumberjack exhibition, and I have a great respect for the artistry and sheer strength it takes to do that job.
Odell Hussey’s horses
Just down the way, there were a number of exhibits to see. There was an old grist mill, a cotton mill, an old fire pumper, and even a printing press. The buggy exhibit was pretty impressive and there were even horses to see and pet alongside the revered covered wagon of Odell Hussey. In addition, we got to see the blacksmiths at work.
If you have not figured it out yet, this place is huge! Have no fear though, if you worry about getting around, there is an old trolley car that makes numerous stops along the way. It’s a beauty to see and certainly gives you a great vantage point to see everything along the ride. I almost forgot to mention all the great food. There was everything from hot dogs, to pintos, to homemade ice cream.
Old Timey Stores
Next year, make plans to attend this event. Bring the family because there is something for everyone. If you love history, you will not want to leave.
Tractor driver in training
Students, ask your school to make this a school trip. Teachers, you do the same. This is a learning experience about our history that we could all use.
We owe a debt of gratitude to Ken and Patti Eder for opening this up to the public. As soon as next year’s date is set, mark it on your calendar. We hope to see you there.