The Great Franklin County Antique Machinery Show began forming in July of 1994 at the Franklin County 4-H Fair, where exhibitors got together and recognized a huge interest shown in their antique machinery. The seed was planted.
Shortly thereafter in the fall of 1994, a group got together in Dan Dorrel's kitchen and decided to form their own organization to be named, 'The Franklin County Antique Machinery Club.'
We decided to advertise for fellow antique machinery enthusiasts. Tremendous numbers of people responded. The date was chosen to be the last weekend in September for the three-day event. September 29, 30 and October 1, 1995 was the date of our first annual show.
The first year, we came with over 200 tractors and 75 hit & miss engines, four steam engines and 26 miscellaneous demonstrations. The turnout was an enormous success with new membership over 300.
Since then, the club has grown to almost 800 members. But including a family membership, of a husband, wife and children under 16 years of age, we estimate close to 1600 people participate at only $10 per membership per year.
Many new things were added, and the show advanced to a four-day event. People began coming from all over the United States. Students and public alike could see working demonstrations such as rural electric generators, broom making, soap making, horses, mules, ponies, petting zoo, steam engines, hit and miss engines, antique tractors, trucks and automobiles as well as numerous other items, each reflecting a unique historical perspective.
In 1998, an old-time kitchen was added, showing how people cooked on wood stoves with a live demonstration. A horse pull was added to Saturday's event schedule. School Day was created with children from local schools admitted free for the day. All were served homemade ice cream and cookies. Over 300 children participated. The success of that first School Day grew to 1,00 the next year. A larger old-time kitchen was added to showcase how potatoes were grown. The potatoes were dug up using a horse-drawn potato plow - the children were allowed to pick the spuds. Many were amazed to learn potatoes grew in the ground. (Some thought they came from McDonald's.)
We hope you enjoy our show and our community. You have touched our hearts by allowing us to share our history, knowledge and education with you. Thank you for your support!