In late 1969, a group of ‘steam buffs’ began informal discussions leading to a meeting in Springfield, TN, at which the Association was formally organized. With a common interest in steam engines, a primary purpose was to recreate and preserve memories of the era when “Steam was King.” Adams Community Men’s Club, the Association held its first show at Adam, TN, on August 20, 1970 and 5,000 persons in attendance from 26 states. The Association voted to continue holding its show at Adams and 9,000 persons were present for the 3-day event in July 1972.
Threshermen are all volunteers. The organization seeks to provide educational exhibits and live demonstrations of rural living from the period 1900 to World War II and to bring new dimensions of recognition by the American public for the ‘haunting story’ of the Bell Witch Legend. More than 5,000 volunteer hours are estimated given each year in support of the activities.
Central attraction of the Show is the threshing of grain. Perfectly matched teams of mules pull wagons loaded with wheat to the waiting separator, which begins to move men on wagons feeding bundles of wheat into the thresher mouth. Engine exhaust becomes louder and black smoke spurts into the breeze. Chaff and straw fly from the windstacker as golden wheat flows smoothly into the waiting truck. Here one sees dramatically man’s harvest of his labors! In addition to grand old names of steam traction engines – Cas, Keck-Gonnerman, Frick, Russell, Nichols & Shepard, Garr-Scott, Peerless – there will be seen a steam powered sawmill, grist mill and various types of engines, models, and pumps. Antique cars, old gas tractors, and engines, ancient agricultural and other machines will be on display.
We have included the John Bell Log House, Sawmill operation as done in the 1900’s to World Engines Exhibit, Mule Pull and Show and Antique Tractor pull and Show. These ongoing activities attract thousands of visitors from across the Southeast/Midwest regions of the USA with predominant numbers from Kentucky and Tennessee.
Threshermen continue to seek development of exhibits and activities that are associated with the theme period by working in coordination with various community organization and interested parties to provide opportunity to show younger generations what yester year farming consisted of.
Friday and Saturday