Generations at the Steam Show

By Bradford Times Staff

The 52nd annual Georgian Bay Steam Show in Cookstown focused on more than just steam – even though the huge wood-fired steam engines produced by Canadian companies like Waterloo Mfg., Geo. White  and Sawyer Massey were the stars of the show.

The 4-day festival, held over the August Civic long weekend, also featured tractors and tractor pulls, all kinds of gas and steam-powered equipment, antique cars and trucks, live music, kids' activities, talent shows, and a “Farm Demonstration” festival. Show attendees could enjoy fresh Ontario corn-on-the-cob, cooked up by a steam engine; lively tunes played by the Bond Head Fiddlers, an introduction to square dancing, and a demonstration of horse-drawn ploughing, by Scott Gilpin and his team of horses.

But the festival was about more than nostalgia. Club president Gary Frampton noted that it was also about getting involved – and passing on an interest, in agricultural heritage, how things work and how things used to be, to the next generation. “You've got to get them interested.”