The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

July 6, 2014

Antique Engine Club has great start to show

WAYNE TOWNSHIP — The 26 miles of roads between Bristolville and the Ashtabula County Engine Club grounds are well known to Wayne Johnson.

“I have 60 trips up here a year,” Johnson said.

“It is a lot of work, but it is a good fun weekend,” he said after getting some time to experience the event with his wife and grandson on the top of their tractor during the annual parade that included about 75 participants.

“We’ve been in this for 25 years,” Johnson said. He said his wife Merilyn, also an officer in the club, grew up in Lenox Township so the event brings her back to her roots in Ashtabula County.

“We kind of look at it as a reunion,” Johnson said.

The almost perfect weather led to an excellent crowd at the show that draws antique engine enthusiasts from all over the United States.

“Yesterday (Friday) I would say was a record day,” Johnson said.

Maintaining the club’s property and all of the new additions are a year-long adventure especially during the warm months, organizers said.

“During the summer when the weather is good I am up here every Wednesday,” Johnson said.

Ruth Lazor, membership secretary for the club, has deep roots to the event as it started informally with nine people in 1982 on her father’s farm down the street from the present grounds on Route 322.

“I often wonder what my dad would think,” she said of the membership that has grown from nine people to 700 across the country.

Lazor said she thinks people are interested in the engines because of a connection to the past. “More people are interested in preserving our past for the future generations,” she said.

One addition to the club grounds is a historic dentist office from Jefferson that was donated to the club after the Lenox Historical Society disbanded, Lazor said.

Visitors from Florida, Connecticut, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York and Canada made their way to the southern part of Ashtabula County for the big event.

“We have one (visitor) here from Canada,” Lazor said.

The show continues today at 9 a.m. with dozens of exhibitors, food and entertainment options until the show closes at 4 p.m.

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