100+ Years of Progress offers visitors lots to see

Nov. 03, 2013 @ 11:00 AM

By mid-afternoon Saturday, Ederville was a mix of diesel fumes, engine pops, bluegrass music and roasted peanuts.

Thousands of tractor enthusiasts made their way to Ederville, a town within a town in Carthage, for a three-day festival featuring more than a 1,000 antique machines, tractors and trains.  The show, dubbed 100+ Years of Progress, included tractor games, tractor pulls, mower and plowing demonstrations, among other machine-based activities.

"It has been busy," said Patti Eder, who started the festival a handful of years ago with her husband Ken. "This is the busiest we have ever been."

The tractor show, which began Friday, continues today, with a 9:30 a.m. church service and various tractor demonstrations.

"I hope families and people leave with new friendships, and I hope they learn a lot," Eder said.

There are more than 1,200 tractors and vehicles at the show, and there are many one-of-a-kind machines, several of which are in working condition.

"You are never going to see anything like this anywhere else," Eder said. "There a machines here older than people's parents and grandparents."

Randy Tucker, a volunteer overseeing the hit and miss engines, said a majority of the hit and miss machines were used on farms during the early 1900s.

"Most people just don't know what they are," he said. "And how they can keep working even though they are more than 100 years old."

Some of the young children are scared of the machines while older children get close to the engines while trying to figure out how they work.

Riley Lee, 6, was a fan of the rock crusher machine, and insisted his grandfather, Benny, double back so he could crush more rocks.

"It's all pretty unique," Benny said. "All of it has been a lot of fun. I'm familiar with some of these tractors, and my grandparents had one of these hit and miss engines. I was brought up on a farm, and this is what we'd use."

Allen Clonch collects hit and miss gas engines, and volunteered his time and machines to the festival Saturday.

"People ask all kinds of questions," he said. "How does it work? What did it do? How is it still running?"

Before the power grid was commonplace, these machines were used for a variety of purposes from making butter and washing clothes to letting the horses out into the field, he said.

Hugh and Faye Jernigan traveled from Lillington for their first event, and said it was a great experience.

"There certainly is a lot to see," Hugh said.