You'd have been a mighty popular person -- back about 1915 -- if you were the first one in your part of the county to buy a fancy new steam engine.
The neighbors would have jumped up from their dinner tables and rushed to their porches just to watch you drive by. No sooner would you have gotten this labor-saving machine home and fired it up to start threshing the barley or baling the hay or cutting some lumber, than here would come the neighbors asking you to drive over to their farms and help them with theirs.
Things haven't changed much. People who own steam engines are still mighty popular folks -- as you'll be able to see for yourself Friday, Saturday and Sunday when the Mason-Dixon Historical Society Inc. holds its 30th annual Steam and Gas Round-Up from 10 a.m. to dusk on the grounds of the Carroll County Farm Museum in Westminster.
Last year a record-breaking crowd of 5,000 people came out during the three-day show to see demonstrations and displays of restored and working steam engines, gasoline engines, farm tractors and other farm equipment. And this year the society has planned an even bigger show.
There will be demonstrations of shingle sawing, threshing and hay baling. Model steam engines will be on display along with more than 200 Hit and Miss gasoline engines from the 1920s and 1930s.
On Saturday and Sunday, there will be a display of antique cars and trucks, which will line up to parade around the grounds at 2 p.m. each day. Also on those two days, at 4 p.m., the steam and gas tractors will take part in a parade.
Beginning Saturday at 4 a.m., members of the steam club will be making apple butter and offering it for sale in the evening.
Nearly 80 vendors will be bringing antiques, collectibles and crafts to sell in a flea market. There will be food for sale, much of it homemade, including soups, pit beef, baked goods, pizzas and chicken dinners. Music will be performed by Howard Parks' Country Swingers.
Children up to the age of 8 can test their strength as they pedal a toy John Deere tractor in a miniature tractor pull at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Friday evening four teams will compete in a mule pull. Saturday and Sunday there will be hay rides around the museum grounds.
Each year the Round-Up features a show-within-a-show of tractors by one manufacturer. This year owners of the Cockshutt, made in Canada during the 1940s, will gather here for the International Cockshutt Show. At least 100 Cockshutt tractors will be on display.
"We're hoping to have some Canadian visitors this year," said Betty Staines, secretary for the Mason-Dixon Historical Society.
Chances to win a shiny red, restored 1947 Model 30 Cockshutt tractor will be sold during the show for a drawing to be held in early October.
Sunday at 9:30 a.m. Sharon Rogers, chaplain for the steam club, will lead devotional services before the start of the show.
During the three days of the Round-Up, which is free, there will be free admission to the entire Carroll County Farm Museum.