934 Shadyside Road, Jamestown, New York 14701-9451.
Tractors are the fastest growing feature of the Chautauqua
County Antique Equipment Show in the southwest corner of New York
State. The show had two themes in 1992 for its 18th annual show:
Made in New York, and Silver King tractors. Fifteen Silver Kings
and one Plymouth, illustrating most of the variety inherent in
these plucky little tractors, lined up for the weekend last August.
Two families, the Buskist brothers and the Adams brothers, all
farmers from neighboring Cattaraugus County, brought most of these
Silver Kings. Many of them were appearing for the first time at the
Tractors of other makes were as numerous as in any recent year.
The tractor parades on the spacious, well drained grounds, part of
a private airport, were the pride of the 1992 show.
Model tractors dominated the model section of the show with
several large and small collections appearing for the first
Early in the century, Chautauqua County was filled with
diversified farms: dairy, hay, potatoes, beef and veal, sheep and
hogs, apples. Fruit and vegetable farms took advantage of the
milder climate next to Lake Erie. Small foundries and machine shops
in the county and others in nearby larger cities produced engines
and farm equipment and the Pennsylvania oil fields next door all
contributed to the diverse possibilities for collectors in this
area. Nearly every year the club’s relentless collectors and
meticulous restorers come up with a new surprise, often an obscure
local make of engine.
Of course, there are hundreds of examples of other more familiar
makes of engines each year on the grounds, both original and
One of the show’s secrets of success is cooperation with
other area organizations. These include the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus
Model Engine Club, the Chautauqua Lake Region Antique Automobile
Club of America, which annually makes the show a stop for a tour,
and the Busti Historical Society noted throughout the area for the
good food which it provides at an on-the-grounds refreshment
This year, in connection with the show theme, John Deere
equipment, the Association hopes to pioneer cooperation with
another group, the Brokenstraw Antique Tractor Club, formed in 1991
and now affiliated with Two-Cylinder Worldwide.
Larry Straight, a member of both the association and the tractor
club, plans to exhibit his 1936 BO (pictured). ‘It was built in
1936 and delivered to the dealership which is now known as Zahm and
Matson in Falconer, New York,’ says Larry. ‘It was
purchased in 1935 and then traded in 1937. A local farmer then
purchased it and used it until about 1987. The farmer took very
good care of the BO and kept it inside. This tractor has all
original sheetmetal thanks to him. A neighbor of mine purchased the
BO and used it for three years to haul firewood. I then purchased
the tractor from him and restored it.
‘The BO is a B standard which was built for use in orchards.
Note that there are no mufflers or air intakes sticking up through
the hood. Also, the gas caps are shielded from the branches. This
way you can work under the trees without knocking the fruit
The show dates this year are Saturday and Sunday August 21 and
22. The show is open to any sort of gas, steam, electrical,
agricultural, automotive, wood working, and industrial antique
equipment including hand tools and models. We also have an
outstanding antique radio exhibit.
There is plenty of free parking. The Dart Airport, where the
grounds are located, offers antique and other airplane rides. It
houses a recently expanded aviation museum and a restaurant. A
neighboring fire department brings in chicken barbeques. A large
general flea market adjoins the show.
The grounds are only a mile from famed Chautauqua Lake in the
heart of a rustic all-season resort area with many motels, bed and
breakfast establishments, special events, and the world famous
Current officers of the Chautauqua County Antique Equipment
Association are Barbara Wise, president (716) 988-3616, Norman
Carlson, vice president and publicity (716) 483-0134, and Mary
Crawford, secretary (716) 326-3211.