Yesteryear Farm and Home Show Report

'Miss Yesteryear,' Rich Barker'

'Miss Yesteryear,' Rich Barker.

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12201 Vermillion Road Longmont, Colorado 80501

The weather wasn't much to brag about during our show this year, but even so we were thankful for what we got (or didn't get), because all around us the weather was even worse. One of the local newspapers had just reported that we hadn't received any measurable precipitation in 100 consecutive days, and wouldn't you know it, the next day, just as we were setting up for the show, we got 1 inches of rain in half an hour. North of us, in LaPorte, this same storm dumped up to six inches of rain. East, in the area of Deer Trail and Limon, there were tornadoes reported. To the south, Pueblo received four inches of rain, and in Denver water stood up to four feet deep in underpasses. West of us, in Lyons and Central City, highway crews with front loaders and trucks were called out to clear mudslides from the highways. So we in Longmont considered ourselves lucky to get just a paltry little downpour, and we continued with preparations for our show.

Our display area is mostly flat and pretty well covered with good gravel road base material, so this bit of bad weather didn't really hinder us much. We slogged along, finished setting up as best we could, and even found a little humor in the situation. One portion of our display area contains a low-lying area, and this filled with rain water. One witty exhibitor tossed in a couple of rubber ducks and put up a sign which read 'Lake NelsonNo Swimmin'.' (The name Nelson refers to one of the founders of our show, Harvey Nelson.) Although the weather remained unsettled, we didn't get any more significant rainfall, and the show went on as planned. It seems the bad weather didn't have any effect on attendance, as our show was bigger than ever this year.

In 1994 we had 106 antique tractors, most of them restored but a few still 'in working clothes.' There were a lot of John Deeresthe crew from Van Thuyne Farms of Longmont, for example, brought 10 restored As, Bs, Ds, and Hs. Farmalls were also plentiful, with nicely restored examples of all F series Farmalls as well as As, Bs, Hs and Ms. Also from IHC we had a nice W-30 and a T-20 TracTracTor. Although the 10-20s and 15-30s aren't rare around here, we don't ever seem to have any at our show. I don't understand that. How about somebody bringing a few next year? Other brands represented this year were Massey-Harris, Minneapolis-Moline, Oliver, Gibson, Ford, Fordson, Ferguson, Cockshutt, Co-Op, Allis-Chalmers, and Case.

Speaking of Case tractors, our show is always held in conjunction with the Boulder County Fair, and 1994 was the 125th anniversary of our fair. To commemorate this milestone and to raise funds for our show we auctioned off a newly restored 1942 Case SC tractor to the highest bidder during our event. In addition to being restored and sporting a new paint job, the tractor has lettering on the hood commemorating the 125th year of the fair. A real collector's item! The proud new owner is Mark Belfiore of Boulder, Colorado. Congratulations, Mark! Mark came to our show with his 1941 model Oliver 60. He drove his Oliver in the antique tractor parade on Friday and Saturday, and his wife was a spectator. The Case tractor was auctioned off just after Saturday's parade, and during Sunday's antique tractor parade Mark drove his new Case tractor and his wife drove the Oliver!

We had a very nice turnout of stationary engines again this year, many of which were kept busy operating pumps, shellers, and so forth. There are always some very nicely restored specimens at our show, and this year was no exception. Bert Herrera from LaPorte, Colorado, brought his 1913 vintage 6 HP IHC Famous hopper-cooled engine and a beautiful 6 HP Dempster 'left hand' engine built in 1922.

Chuck Wallace of Berthoud, Colorado, brought his assortment of very nicely restored engines: J.D., IHC, F-M, and Maytag from the '20s and '30s, and Paul Davis, also of Berthoud, brought a unique Crossley engine. The Crossley, made in 1915 or so, is of British origin, and Paul acquired it from its previous owner in Kansas who in turn had bought it from a museum in Manchester, England. The Crossley is either a 17'/2 or 19'/: HP engine, depending on what kind of fuel is used, and weighs approximately 3,000 lbs. Paul has it mounted on a 16 ft. trailer. It has a large cast iron muffler on it, and when it runs you can see the trailer bounce but the engine makes very little sound. Ken Kroschel of Longmont brought his collection of 20 stationary engines, along with an assortment of other goodies. He was kept pretty busy keeping 20 or so engines running.

There were some very nicely done scale models at our show. Several exhibitors were present with scale model engines. Some of these models were built from kits, and others were built totally from scratch. Gene Nettesheim of Boulder, for example, is building a scale model Gaar-Scott steam traction engine. He fabricates wooden models for all those parts which are to be cast, then pours the castings and machines them. He is not quite done with it yet, but it was on display at our show, and it is simply an outstanding display of craftsmanship. Bob Roggenbuck of Cheyenne, Wyoming, brought his scale models of a Case threshing machine and Case cross motor tractor. This nice little combination isn't just to look atthey actually function just like the full size machines! Harley and Becky Rackley from Woodland Park brought a very nice assortment of scale model engines, and Harold Beckett from Longmont also brought a whole table full of various scale model engines.

Ours is not just a tractor and engine show. Each year we have a number of very interesting displays of 'miscellaneous' items, and these always prove to be some of the most popular exhibits. Wes Stratman of Pueblo, Colorado, brought a huge collection of antique hand tools. His tool collection is housed in an enclosed trailer, and the trailer has large panels on both sides and across the back which swing open, and inside there are racks literally covered with tools. One could easily spend a whole day looking at all the tools, and Wes is only too happy to show them off and answer questions about them. There were other displays of antique hand tools, too, as well as collections of just about anything 'old': cherry pitters, apple peelers, cider presses, sad irons, waffle irons, handcuffs, barbed wire samples, insulators, washing machines, churns, cement mixers, rope makers, pumps, grinders, stationary steam machinery you name it, it was there.

We had a nice assortment of horse drawn machinery, too. Plows, seeders, cultivators, and so forth took up one section of our display area. John Ellis brought his old horse drawn Star hay tedder and wanted to include it in the antique tractor parade. He didn't bring any horses, so he and another exhibitor pulled it in the parade themselves. Everyone had a good laugh at this spectacle. Another spectacle in the antique tractor parade was the appearance of our very first 'show queen.' Our show being named as it is, no attractive young lady wants to be selected 'Miss Yesteryear,' so we had to be creative. One of our fellow exhibitors (and a good sport), Rich Barker, agreed to help out. He donned a granny dress and bonnet, and wearing a banner proclaiming him to be 'Miss Yesteryear,' rode in the parade on a Wheel Horse garden tractor. Rich is a good sized man, and with his hairy legs showing below his dress and his very non-feminine physique draped across this pint-sized tractor, it was quite a sight! It was all done 'jest fer fun,' and I really think everyone enjoyed it.

Out-of-state exhibitors at our show this year were Harold and Cora Sherron of Boaz, Kentucky, who brought their collection of Gibson tractors. With them came Sam and Mary Wells of Olney, Illinois, who brought and displayed antique generators and bike engines. Also from out of state were Art and Barbara Weiser from Hartville, Wyoming, who brought a pair of nice stationary engines; Ken Clossen from Cheyenne with two Gibson tractors and a 1920 W12 Cletrac crawler; and the previously mentioned Bob Roggenbuck with his scale model Case thresher and cross motor tractor.

Show dates for 1995 are August 11th through the 13th, and of course you're all invited: For more information, contact the author at the address above, or call (303) 776-9859.