Miniatures and motors all the rage at Cass Harvest Day
As the sound of train whistles echoed through the historic town of Cass Saturday, train, antique and fall enthusiasts gathered for Harvest Day.
Pulling into the lower parking lot, it was hard to miss the miniature train tracks and model trains near the river.
The one-eighth scale models, owned by train hobbyists from Lexington, Kentucky, were the source of many smiles and children flocked to the train for a ride.
Hobbyist and creator of the scale steam engine Joe Holbrook said he and his friend have attended the harvest celebration for four years and they always look forward to the event.
ﾓWe do not do this for hire, our reward is those little smiling faces,ﾔ he said.
Holbrook said they have spent several years crafting the models and enjoy sharing them with fellow train enthusiasts.
ﾓThe model of a diesel engine runs on gasoline and the steam engine runs on coal and water,ﾔ he said. ﾓThey can ride 18 people behind them.ﾔ
As the case is with many hobbyists, Holbrook has been a train fanatic since he was a child.
ﾓIﾒve been a train hobbyist since I was seven, so about 100 years now, Iﾒve been doing this,ﾔ he joked. ﾓIﾒve been bit by the train bug for years and during the Korean War, just before they drafted me, I went to St. Louis and worked for Missouri Pacific for a few months as an apprentice electrician in the diesel shops. Thatﾒs all I needed to know. I never wanted to work for the railroad.ﾔ
Although he didnﾒt make it his career, Holbrook has lived a life enriched by trains of all sizes, including the trains at Cass.
ﾓI love coming to Cass, they treat us like weﾒre part of the family,ﾔ he said.
Past the parking lot and the trains, an antique farm engine demonstration took place in the picnic area. Amidst the hit-and-miss engines, corn shellers and water pumps was a 1940 John Deere Model H tractor and its proud owner, Dunmore resident David Rittenhouse.
Just like a child with a shiny new toy, Rittenhouse was grinning from ear-to-ear as he shared the story about his tractor.
The H was one of two of the first John Deere tractors sold in Pocahontas County.
ﾓI got it from Charlie Myers in 1967 so weﾒve had it for 40-50 years,ﾔ he said.
The tractor was Rittenhouseﾒs first on his farm, which he purchased the same year.
Through the years, the tractor suffered through the elements and an incident with an oak tree. After sitting outside for more than 30 years, Rittenhouseﾒs son Julian discreetly had the tractor restored by Eugene Helmick and recently returned the tractor to its owner.
Rittenhouse took the tractor on a ride around the Cass parking lot and shared stories with other antique machinery owners.
Attendees of the harvest celebration were also treated to a demonstration of apple butter making, dancing, music and a chance to get inside two of the steam engines.