58th Annual Missouri River Valley Steam Engine Show will feature International Harvester

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News
The Missouri River Valley Steam Engine Association will host its annual tractor cruise in conjunction with their annual Back to the Farm Reunion on Friday, September 10. The cruise will leave from the Brady Showgrounds at 9 a.m.

The 58th Annual Back to the Farm Reunion, sponsored by the Missouri River Valley Steam Engine Association, will be held on September 9-12 at Brady Farmstead Showgrounds in Boonville.

International Harvester Chapter 1 State IH Show will feature the 100th anniversary of McCormick-Deering 15-30 and IH Scouts along with Cub Cadet Lawn Tractors celebrating 60 years.

Danny Friedrich, vice president of the Missouri River Valley Steam Engine Association, said he expects anywhere from 8,500-9,000 people to come through the show this year. “It’s a pretty big show,” stated Friedrich. “Several years back when Allis Chalmers had their show, we had 13,800 people attend the show. There'll be some red tractors that you won't ever see again in your lifetime this year. We’re talking tractors from 1906-1910. I've got 15 of them and my newest one is 1956 and my oldest one is 1934. We will also have old threshing machines, rock crushers and a sawmill. We saw our own lumber that is driven by tractors and steam engines.”

Although activities will go on every day, Friedrich said the show actually begins on Thursday, Sept. 9, which is Senior Citizen’s Day. Senior Citizen’s will be admitted for $5.  Gates open each day at 8 a.m. The cost is $10 for wristbands, which is good for all four days, and free admission for children 12 and under. Patrons can also get a one-day admission on Sunday for $5.

Activities that will go on each day include: thrashing and rock crushing with steam, blacksmithing, field demonstrations (horse and tractors), straw bailing with stationary baler, food concessions, lumber sawing, flea markets, kids train and petting zoo, parade of power (Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 1 p.m.), Brady Farmhouse Tour, Horse powered sweep and threshing, quilting demonstration, historical life skills demonstrations, general store and miniature tractor display, tractor games (Thursday only at 7 p.m.), classic cars and trucks displayed, and antique hit and miss engines.

In addition to the activities each day, the Missouri River Valley Steam Engine Association will also host its annual tractor cruise on Friday, September 10. The cruise will leave from the Brady Showgrounds at 9 a.m. and will take the following route: (39 miles) leave from Brady Showgrounds at 9 a.m.; travel highway 179 and highway 87 to Jamestown Lions Club Park-16.6 miles (drive will take 90 minutes, leave park by 11 a.m.; travel highway D&U to Prairie Home-lunch at fairgrounds-8.3 miles (drive time-45 minutes, leave fairgrounds by 12:45 p.m.); travel highway EE and 179 back to Brady Showgrounds-14 miles (drive time-90 minutes).

For spectators interested in seeing the cruise, the Missouri River Valley Steam Engine Association anticipates being at Jamestown Lions Club Park for their morning break at approximately 10:30 a.m., and at the Prairie Home Fairgrounds from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

Along with the tractor cruise on Friday, which is also School and Group Day, a feature tractor pull and dyno horsepower testing will be held at 10 a.m., followed by watermelon sawing at 5 p.m. and Missouri Farm Pullers Tractor Pull at 7 p.m.

Events on Saturday include molasses making, Civil War/World War II demonstrations, and “I think I can” small tractor pull at 9 a.m.; dyno horsepower testing at 10 a.m.; state IH meeting at 1 p.m.; MATPA Tractor Pull at 4 p.m.; watermelon sawing at 5 p.m.; and live free music from 6-9 p.m.

On Sunday, church service will start at 9 a.m. with draft horse and mule activities at 10 a.m., pedal pull at 1 p.m., and parade of power at 3 p.m.

The Brady Farmhouse will also have tours and quilt exhibits daily along with spinning, crocheting and quilt sewing.

Friedrich said the steam engine show actually got started back in 1964. He said the Missouri State Fairgrounds were out at Knights of Columbus and moved to Sedalia in 1963. With Cooper County Fairgrounds soon opening after that, Friedrich said some guys wanted to have a little tractor get together so they would bring tractors and steam engines. “I think there’s like 19-20 original families that started the show,” Friedrich said. “Arnold Brady, which is one of my uncles, decided he was going to donate this ground so we moved it to Wooldridge. With all the ground, we’ve just grown each year.”

With the cost of running an event of this magnitude each year, Friedrich said the MRVSEA puts money back into a project for the next year. He said this year the Brady Showgrounds will have a summer kitchen for people to sit and eat; it’s also air conditioned so people can come in when it’s hot outside.

The project for next year is removing the tractor pulling track over to a new location. He said the association is right on the bare limits of some of the bigger tractor pulls, however, with a new track they will be able to hold the Outlaws and Lucas Oils Tractor Pulls. “We’re right on I-70 and that’s what they like, so we’ll be able to have big pulls next year,” Friedrich said. “This will also allow us to have more room for more of the old antique tractors. We’ve also done some improvements to the house. We have one of the largest engine museums you'll ever see and I’m talking 30-40 ton engines. That’s huge engines.”

The 2022 show also figures to be one of the biggest in recent memory with Ford Tractors, Cars and Trucks featured along with Fordson Tractors. Then, in 2023, Friedrich said Allis Chalmers Tractors and Equipment will be featured. In 2024, the featured show will be Oliver and Hart Parr National Show.