EASTON — Hot summertime and the smell of coal-driven steam, ancient farm traction engines chugging along, giant draft horses pulling to power those massive mechanical wheat threshers and rock crushers — it’s like a scene from the late 19th century.
This weekend, visitors get a rare chance to time travel and see farm life a hundred years ago, during the Tuckahoe Steam and Gas Association’s 46th annual reunion and show.
If you know the ins and outs of an internal combustion gasoline engine, this is the place for you — it’s like a machinist’s candy store.
And before gasoline, there were engines powered by steam. Engines that ran tractors, locomotives, cars, washing machines — you name it. And if you can name it, you will be able to see it at this weekend’s show.
There are 70 acres of show property, more than seven exhibit buildings, collections, concessions, food and entertainment.
Most of the great stuff happens outside. Giant draft horses pulling equipment, wheat threshing, rock crushing, shingle-making and more.
A wide variety of vendors will show off the time-honored arts of chair-caning, basketweaving, broom-making, quilting, spinning and colonial crafts.
This year among the featured equipment is Orchard and “Hi-Crop” Tractors, which generally have a lower profile than the average tractor and ways that avoid the snagging of branches as they harvest.
Also featured are equipment made by the Wheel Horse company that manufactured small garden tractors beginning about 1947 — a boon to the post-war middle class gardener growing a plot of vegetables. The company lasted for about 40 years.
Domestic gasoline engines will also be showcased.
There will be a consignment auction at 9 a.m. Saturday. Bidders will get a chance to take home antiques, especially those of the mechanical variety.
On Friday and Saturday, there is a grand parade of vintage farm vehicles around 5 p.m. Steam-driven traction machines that are more than a hundred years old are stoked with coal and take a turn around the grounds, blasting their peace-shattering horns as they go. Other farm equipment will join the parade.
Music includes the Flat Land Drive bluegrass band on Friday evening and the Jones Boys on Saturday.
Friday evening events include the Draft Horse Pull competition beginning at 7:30 p.m.
On Saturday, the Garden Tractor Pull is at 10 a.m., and the Kiddie Pedal Tractor Pull is at 1 p.m.
Children over 10 can sign up for some one-on-one instruction in basic machining skills on a museum lathe in the Machine Shop Museum during the show.
Blacksmiths from the Mid Atlantic Blacksmithing Guild will be set up with forge, anvil and tools and create items along with their demonstrations.
And towards the back of the showgrounds is the area’s largest flea market of its kind — acres of treasures and bargains stretch out under the trees as far as the eye can see.
Breakfast and “dinner,” served at noon, are available each day from the show ground kitchens.
The show is open beginning noon on Thursday, July 11, and all day with demonstrations beginning about 9 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 12-14. Evening activities start about 7:30 p.m. and last “until.” The show will wind down around 3 p.m. on Sunday.
The show grounds are located about five miles north of Easton on U.S. Route 50 and about 23 miles from the Bay Bridge. The address is 11472 Ocean Gateway.
For more information, visit https://www.tuckahoesteam.org.