STEAM POWER MEETS MAN POWER: A now-functional steam crane sits idly on the Camp Creek grounds as Camp Creek members gather wheat Saturday in preparation for the group’s event. The event will run from the evening of Saturday to Sunday evening. (Staff Photo by Allan Christensen)

WAVERLY – The Annual Camp Creek Threshers Antique Machinery and Threshing Show this weekend again promises a fun look back in history.

A “for fun” tractor ride kicks off activities Friday, June 20 at about 5 p.m.

The 43rd Annual Machinery and Threshing Show takes place Saturday and Sunday at the Camp Creek showgrounds east of Waverly on Bluff Road.

Those who attend can get a glimpse at what life was like not just in early Nebraska, but the Great Plains and throughout the country. A walk around the grounds at Camp Creek will show you just what it took to carve a life out of the land before modern life took away much of the sting.

“There’s just a lot of history out here,” Camp Creek President Mike Faughn said.

There is no denying that claim.

A week before the event starts several Camp Creek members were out in the wheat field butted up next to the grounds harvesting and gathering wheat for the event. Not an air conditioned tractor in sight, all the work is done with old tractors, hay racks and pitchforks.

Faughn said there is a dedication at almost every level to doing things the way they were done half a century ago, if not more.

At the show, the dedication continues. The wheat that is harvested will be threshed throughout the show.

“We’re kind of showing what the farm life was all about but even the earlier urban developments, with the post office and the general store,” he added.

And Camp Creek has the people to tell the stories of that life as well.

If the wheat doesn’t strike your fancy, there is a myriad of things to see around the grounds.

A working sawmill shows what it was like for people building a life on the Plains to simply cut wood to make structures long before garages across America had table saws.

The blacksmiths give a glimpse at what is was to work metal. The hot and heavy work goes all day during Camp Creek.

Perhaps the most exciting piece, according to Camp Creek members, is the now-functional steam crane. It has sat dormant on the grounds for several years but Camp Creek secretary Pam Fleming said that it had passed all state testing needed and would be pulling and lifting at the show.

The post office will even send mail for you with a Camp Creek stamp on it.

If you had an ancestor on the Great Plains just two generations ago, Camp Creek is a good representative of what their life was like.

“If you’ve ever heard any stories from any family member about way back when,” Fleming said. “(You should) come out and take a look at how things were done then.”

Fleming said that these

connections to the past were disappearing as time rolls by and that Camp Creek gives those curious about the history of the country, a chance to see and feel it.

“The saw mill, the threshing, all of that, you don’t see that stuff anymore. You have no idea how labor intensive some of these things are and how easy we have it nowadays. And to appreciate it,” Fleming said.

But it is not meant to be all work and no play. Faughn said Camp Creek aims to please and has all the amenities to keep everyone happy in the summer days.

Ice cream, old fashioned soda pop and candy as well as tractor pulls and parades will fill the days.

Faughn said his group cannot wait to show the people the event they have worked all year to prepare.

“We’ll take care of you from the moment you walk through the gate until we take you back to your cars,” Faughn said. “We’re ready.”

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