As many of you know, Perry used to be a big place for trains. We used to have the Interurban Railroad, a roundhouse, and more. The trains would transport people and goods back and forth along the tracks; but what would happen when a train came off the tracks? Would it still be useful?
Many of you may be surprised to know that the answer is yes! Recently I found a very peculiar picture that was taken around 1945 on the farm of Carl Hansen. As you can see, there is a steam engine that looks very strange. Apparently, what has happened is that Carl has converted the engine into a hay thrasher. He did this by changing the wheels of the train so that it no longer needed tracks and could drive freely. He also most likely attached something to the back of the engine that would do the thrashing. What really gets me thinking, however, is how Carl got the engine to his farm in the first place! Did he modify it at the train station, or did he find a way to drag it all the way to his farm? Perhaps the answer lies in the strange belt that is attached to the engine that goes out of frame? We may never know.
Before I go, I want to mention that last night we had a great Opening Reception for the Gary Ernest Smith Exhibition! Do not fret if you missed your chance to come and get a tour, as we will have more introductory tours on September 1, from 4:30 to 6:30 P.M. at the Hotel Pattee. Also in September there is a big event happening on the 22nd here in Perry. That night starting at 6:30 P.M., Dr. Pam Jenkins will be in town giving a lecture related to the art, and Gary Ernest Smith himself will be here to give an art walk! Mark it on your calendars now!