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Mountain Home Magazine

History's Harvest

Oct 01, 2018 03:00AM

Are you ready to take a step back in time and ponder life before TV, cell phones, and social media? Then the fifty-third annual Tioga County Early Days may be the place for you. This year’s celebration is October 12-14 at the Tioga County Fairgrounds in Whitneyville, about halfway between Wellsboro and Mansfield.

The early days of the Early Days date back to 1965. at was when Ross Pino brought to life his idea for Tioga County Early Days at the family farm near Mansfield. His goal was to bring people together who were interested in antique tractors, “hit and miss” gasoline engines, tools, household items, and machinery that depicted life during the 1800s and early 1900s. That first event featured an antique steam-driven sawmill that showed how logs were turned into lumber, and a yoke of oxen hitched to a covered wagon.

Over the years, the event has grown to become a virtual living history of life back in the old days. One of the working demonstrations visitors can expect to see is an 1889 sawmill, one of the oldest on the East Coast.

“During the show’s opening ceremonies on Friday evening at 5:30, we are honoring the hometown heroes,” says Gary Comfort, Tioga County Early Days president. Police and fire departments, EMTs, and the sheriff’s departments of Tioga and Bradford counties have been invited. “The Tioga County Honor Guard, a reman’s Honor Guard, and the Wellsboro Boy Scouts will be on hand, and bagpipers from Corning will also be there to perform.”

Some of the exhibits and activities expected to be at the 2018 Early Days include apple cider pressing and tasting, compliments of area resident Mark Empson and his 1915 throttle-governed International Harvester mogul engine. A magnificently restored 1947 New Holland left-handed straw baler, compliments of Donna and Bob Wagner, will be seen in action, with volunteers feeding loose hay and straw into the seventy-year-old beauty. There will be an antique shingle mill, and farm machinery such as antique corn choppers, threshing machines, and a wide array of tractors, including John Deere, Ferguson, Case, and Allis-Chalmers, along with some of the not-so-common brands like Rumely, Silver King, and Fordson Major.

Local blacksmith Darryl Kotz will be on hand, along with Dale “The Hammer Man” Palmer inside the Grange Building with an amazing antique hammer collection. See hammers, sledges, and all sorts of forged iron hand tools. If you have an oldie of your own, bring it on up and find out about its place in history.

The 7th New York and the 4th U.S. Light Artillery will put on a demonstration. Other activities and demonstrations include a pedal tractor pull, flea market, quilting, and woodcarving.

There will be plenty of dining opportunities throughout the weekend as well, including barbecued chicken, apple dumplings, and other home-cooked and home-style delectables. A spaghetti supper is set for Friday evening from 5 to 7 p.m. There will be live music Saturday evening.

Gates open at 8 a.m. all three days.

For more information contact Gary at (607) 259-6234 or go to tiogacountyearlydays.com.