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St. Lawrence Power and Equipment Museum annual exhibition is a step back in time

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MADRID — Visitors to the St. Lawrence Power and Equipment Museum will have a chance to go back to the early days of north country farming and rural living during its annual Antique Gas and Steam Engine Exhibition June 14 and 15.

The exhibition will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

The museum has been steadily adding exhibits since before it was incorporated in 2004. The museum now has 15 facilities, including a shoe repair shop, farmhouse, granary, maple producer’s sugar house, schoolhouse, 1920s-era gas station and more.

“We are unique in that regard; we have more floor space than most museums in the region and therefore we are really able to maintain and preserve some really large pieces,” said Roger S. Austin, president of the museum board.

The exhibition will offer displays of antique gas and steam engines, antique tractors, cars and trucks, wagon rides, farm animals, sawmilling and plowing demonstrations.

“We’re not just an agricultural experience,” Mr. Austin said. “We are looking at life in the north country and how new technologies and inventions have improved life for us. We have lots of engines and tractors. But we have extraordinary collections from washing machines to small labor-saving devices from the last century. Whether you are an ‘engine guy’ or a young person or a lady, it doesn’t matter. There is something you will be able to relate to.”

In addition, there will be crafts, attic treasure sales and early textile demonstrations, along with displays throughout the museum.

“We don’t just have static exhibits that sit on a shelf quietly,” Mr. Austin said. “If a machine or piece of equipment can run, like an engine, we try to run them. We want everyone to get a chance to get up close and see how they work.”

Saturday’s special events include a miniature horse pull at 10 a.m., a draft horse pull at noon, children’s pedal tractor races at 1 p.m., an old iron auction at 2 p.m., a spaghetti supper from 5 to 7 p.m. and music by Pure Country from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Sunday will feature an antique tractor pull beginning at 10 a.m. along with pony rides provided by Honey Dew Acres from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., a children’s pedal tractor pull at 1 p.m. and a chicken barbecue beginning at noon.

“It’s a great place for kids,” Mr. Austin said. “We have something for everyone. Everything is free once you go through the gates. The wagon rides, the animal exhibits, and anything that is there for enjoyment.”

Admission is $5 for people 12 years and older and free for children 12 and younger.

The museum is open every second and fourth Saturday until October. Appointments can be made for small or large group visits.

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