52-A South Main Street, New Milford, Connecticut 06776
As the summertime activities were in full swing around the country, it was once again time for the small town of Roxbury, Connecticut to open its arms to antique tractor and machinery enthusiasts from around New England. On July 22 & 23, 1989 the Roxbury Volunteer Fire Department, with help from the Roxbury Historical Society, held the 18th annual Old Roxbury Days Fair.
The attendance at this year's show was over 5,000 spectators-about the same as years past. Although exhibitor attendance really jumped and space to display one's engines and tractors was a little close, everyone seemed to make adjustments and to understand the need to cooperate. I believe everyone enjoyed themselves, as at the end of the weekend there were plenty of smiling faces.
People who attend Old Roxbury Days annually had two new pieces of equipment to observe this year. The first is a rather large drag saw that the Roxbury Historical Society had purchased in the spring. After a few minor repairs were made, the proper size engine was selected and belted to the drag saw, a log placed on the carriage, and we were in business. Pieces of wood that were sawed were quickly gathered up by spectators for souvenirs.
The other piece of equipment that was not new to the Roxbury Historical Society, but had never been demonstrated at the show itself, was a McCormick grain binder. A small section of the show grounds had been set aside and planted with rye. Late Saturday afternoon, the binder was hooked to a tractor and the rye cut and loaded on a wagon to be threshed Sunday afternoon. Some older spectators said they thought they would never see a binder cutting grain again, and were really moved by watching the operation. I'm sure it brought back many memories for them.
As the show wound down its first day, it was time for the Saturday night chicken barbecue that was attended by over 800 hungry people. A surprise was in store for everyone as a Dixieland band from New Orleans, Louisiana provided entertainment.
Sunday dawned clear and sunny and everyone was ready for the big tractor parade. A total of 69 tractors were on display with 65 participating in the parade. Also this year, thanks to Jim Rusconi of Guilford, Connecticut, we had a dynamometer for the tractors to belt up to, and let me tell you the spectators loved it! Whether there was a Farmall or a John Deere belted to the dynamometer, there was always a crowd of interested people to see how much power each tractor was putting out or just listening to the exhaust noise of an old tractor working on the dynamometer.
This year we had an excellent variety of tractors on display. There were 12 different makes of tractors, with the two cylinder John Deeres once again being the most popular tractors in attendance. Another interesting note about the tractors was the way they looked. Some tractors were driven to the show Saturday morning right off the farms where they work everyday. I guess you could say they were in their working clothes. Others appeared in good original condition. Some were in older restored form, while others sported fresh new paint and looked and sounded better than when they rolled off the assembly lines at the factories years ago. We hope all who attended last year's show will plan on coming back on July 28 & 29, 1990. Don't forget there's plenty to see besides the tractors and equipment. Plenty of arts and crafts, an old time country store, flea market, farm animals, and old cars and trucks, plus always a few surprises. And if you have never been to Old Roxbury Days, well, we hope you can come for a visit. We will do our best to make it one of the highlights of your summer.