Henry County Illinois' Tourism Bureau Has AETA's Working Farm Show Doing It the Old-Fashioned Way September 14-16

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The Antique Engine Working Farm Show is different from most other farm equipment exhibitions. Much of the mid-19th Century machinery is actually put to use plowing during the show. Members plow fields, harvest corn and soybeans, thresh wheat and oats, run a restored sawmill and demonstrate early gas engines.

Henry County Illinois Tourism Bureau

"We want people to imagine they've actually stepped back in time," says AETA's Skip Farnham.

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Each year, the Antique Engine & Tractor Association (AETA) hauls out hundreds of old-time engines and harvesting equipment for its annual three-day Working Farm Show near Geneseo, in Illinois' Henry County, near the historic Bishop Hill community.

AETA promotes the collection, restoration, preservation and exhibition of gasoline and oil engines, gas and steam tractors, power-driven farm machinery and other equipment of historical value. Each year, the Working Farm Show highlights a different brand of antique engines and tractors. This year, the 300-member association is celebrating its 51st anniversary show with a huge display of Allis-Chalmers tractors and equipment.

The Working Farm Show is different from most other farm equipment exhibitions. Much of the mid-19th Century machinery is actually put to use plowing during the show. Members plow fields, harvest corn and soybeans, thresh wheat and oats, run a restored sawmill and demonstrate early gas engines.

"We want people to imagine they've actually stepped back in time," says AETA's Skip Farnham. "The equipment will share the spotlight with some horses, and possibly a mule or two, plowing the fields."

Each year the Henry County Illinois show gets bigger. This year, it will include more than 400 tractors, 100 garden tractors, hundreds of gas engines and other agricultural memorabilia. "Old-timers will recall their fathers and grandfathers using these machines," adds Farnham. "But, we want to educate the younger generations, too. Youngsters will have plenty of opportunities to ask questions, and can even take a turn at learning to drive a tractor."

At the center of the show at the association's permanent exhibition farm is a massive timber frame barn. This classic 19th Century Midwestern barn was constructed using post and beam techniques developed in Europe thousands of years ago, and was still used in this country into the early 20th century. Other exhibits include blacksmithing and wood turning. In the women's tent, patrons can see spinning, weaving, quilting and candle making. In addition, there will be demonstrations by master gardeners, landscapers and plant experts.

For more information on AETA's Working Farm Show, visit http://www.ae-ta.com. This year's show will be held September 14-16. Single day admission is $5, or a three-day pass is $10. Kids 12 and under are free. The Working Farm Show is located in the Bishop Hill community, eight miles north of Geneso on Ill. Rte. 92, just east of the Rock River. From the Quad Cities or Chicago, take exit 6 on Interstate 88, and follow the signs to the big red barn.

Henry County is located in western Illinois, between the Quad Cities and Galesburg, Ill. The fertile farmland is bisected by the Hennepin Canal and dotted with charming small towns replete with antique shops, bakeries, farm markets and country cafés. For information on a getaway to historic Illinois, contact the Henry County Tourism Bureau toll-free at 877-436-7926 or visit their website at http://www.VisitHenryCounty.com.

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