Step back in time to see how farmers worked the land before GPS and auto-steer tractors at the 37th annual Maumee Valley Antique Steam and Gas Association show Thursday through Sunday.
"We're trying to preserve the old machinery and old equipment," said Rick Walker, president of the association. The show isn't just about antique tractors. Antique steam engines, gas engines, cars, trucks and even garden tractors will be on display. Spectators can watch wheat-threshing and lumber-sawing, as well as plowing done with steam engines and antique tractors.
"Farming practices have changed so much that most people don't remember how hard it was to make a living on the farm," Walker said. "The work ethic has been lost, and this history is what built our country. Before the factories took over, farming was how a lot of people lived. We try to bring back some of these old-time practices."
The association is a nonprofit organization that states its purpose is "to preserve old-time power sources, equipment, skills, activities and other resources that reflect the rural and urban life of our forefathers for historical education and exchange of information to current interested parties."
John Deere, Fordson and Ford tractors will be featured this year.
To show just how far agricultural machinery has come, an antique Waterloo Boy two-row planter will be parked next to a new John Deer 24-row planter.
In addition to all the old-time equipment being demonstrated or on display, the three-day event features lots of different activities, such as a working blacksmith shop, quilt display, flea market, hayrides, and entertainment including dulcimer music, cloggers and bands.
Food vendors will be on hand. From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday Andy's Knockout Chicken will be served, and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday Andy's Pulled Pork will be sold. Steamed sweet corn will be sold Friday evening, until 100 dozen are sold.
A tractor pull will begin at 5 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday. A heavyweight horse pull begins at noon Sunday.
There's even a church service at 9 a.m. Sunday.
Special activities are planned for kids. A barrel train will take them around the grounds. On Saturday there will be face-painting, balloons, and a kiddie tractor pull at 2 p.m.
The nearby Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society at 15808 Edgerton Road, New Haven, will have an open house Saturday and Sunday.