Threshin’ the message


NEW MADISON — Jack Sullenbarger is at it again. He decorated a portion of the field across from his home at 1157 State Route 121, New Madison, using bales of round hay and other items to create a steam thresher.

The sign he attached to it reads: “Build Steam — Vote for Freedom.”

“It just popped into my head,” he said. “I just wanted to build a steam engine. I thought about it a year ago, but I didn’t do anything last year because of trouble with my legs.”

He built the cab for the steam thresher at his barn and hauled it over to the field and did the rest of the work there.

“I started it in the middle of October,” he said. “I used hay for the back wheels and the boiler and the rest was made of lumber.”

Since the scene that he creates is on a curve, he was asked if there have been any accidents that have happened when his decorations are out.

“When I had my airplane out there, there was a single-car accident with the vehicle going over the guardrail, but I don’t know if it was because of that,” he said.

Sullenbarger said he has been doing this project for most of the years since he and his wife moved there in 2005.

“I have built seven or eight different things,” he said.

The 74-year-old said he already has an idea for next year, but it depends on how his health is.

He’s not done yet this year though. After the election is over, he may decorate what’s out there now for Christmas, perhaps complete with lighting.

By Linda Moody

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This writer may be reached at 937-569-4315. Follow her on Facebook and join the conversation and get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to

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