About the Holmes County Steam Engine Association
The Holmes County Steam & Engine Association (HCSEA) held their first annual summer show in 1993 at an Amish Farm near Berlin, Ohio. Carl Maxwell served as the HCSEA president at that time. Mike Erb and John Schrock were in charge of managing the show. For the next two years, the summer show continued to be held at the Amish Farm. However, under the new leadership of HCSEA President, Steve Fender, the association agreed to move the 1996 summer show to the Mt. Hope Auction Grounds. This larger facility allowed for the growth the association was experiencing. From an early membership of eighty members, the association has grown to over four hundred members and boasts of over 6,000 paid admissions at our most recent show. Through the dedicated efforts of a group of hard-working members, the association has added a state-of-the-art lighting and sound system to the Mt. Hope Auction Grounds. With a wise investment in advertising and an innovative show program, we have attracted attention from across the country.
Thank you to the charter members who met in 1993 to form the Holmes County Steam and Engine Association. We are proud to recognize thirteen of these men who have remained active members in our Association for the past twenty three years. This select group includes Steve Fender, Jerry Gainey, Vincent Eberhardt, Von Gordon, Olin Gordon, Mark Kiplinger, Ray Kiplinger,Sr., Ray Kiplinger, Jr.,Carl Maxwell, Wyman Miller,Dwight VanFossen, Glenn Wengerd, and John A. Yoder
We would be remiss not to mention that our roots go back to 1972 when the Middletown Gas Meet was held in Mt. Hope, Ohio. This show was repeated in Mt. Hope until 1979. Another show appeared in Berlin during the summer of 1975. This effort was moved to Winesburg in 1981. This show continued at the Winesburg Park until 1992 when a flood caused the cancellation of the show. We applaud the efforts and vision of the early leaders that include – Eli Bowman, Ruben Kandal, Wendyl Kandel, Roy Mast, Alvin Kline, and Mike Erb.
As we continue with our third decade, we look forward to the challenge of promoting our motto for many future shows, “Dedicated to the Preservation of Antique Farm Machinery." Please join our journey!
How it all Began
Spend some time around a group of country folks, and it isn’t long before you hear tales about the “good ole days”. During that time in history, much of the work on the farm was done by hand or if you were lucky enough to have a horse or mule and a plow with a few pieces of equipment, you could do more in less time providing for the immediate family needs. With the advent of tractors and bigger pieces of equipment, more work could be done in less time, which helped the farmer produce more products and make a profit on the side. It has always been man’s dream to do less work and produce more in order to make a living.
As new technology in farming has developed over the years, farmers have experienced a revolution in farming methods. This has brought the concept of doing more work on larger tracts of land in a shorter period of time to provide more products to feed many families. As the older generations stand and watch farming methods change almost daily, it is their desire to keep alive how it all began.
To help in this cause, many antique steam and power clubs are springing up all over the United States and many foreign countries. It is the desire of these clubs to keep the farming methods of the past a part of the educational experience for the future.