Fred’s Down On The Farm Museum Show

By Staff
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Fred Townsend's Centaur garden tractor.
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Just part of the display at this year's show.
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Carl Symonds' 1913 Fairbanks Morse Eclipse No. 1.
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Fred Townsend's 12' Avery sulky plow.

From ‘Rust Bucket Ramblings’, newsletter of Rio Grande
Valley Old Farm Equipment Club. Submitted by Marvin S. Baker, 712
La Vista, McAllen, Texas 78501.

On Saturday, December 8, 1990, a brilliant sun, pleasant
temperature, and no clouds nor wind provided the setting for the
ten o’clock debut of the first Fred’s Down On The Farm
Museum Show, 400 N. Taylor, McAllen, Texas (free admission). A
constant crowd persisted until the 4 p.m. closing. Viewers were
from all parts of our country and Mexico (winter visitors and
locals). Folks came to see and talk about antique farm
machinery.

This included a multitude of stationary engines, a large variety
of horse drawn equipment (the Avery 12 inch sulky plow could be one
of the finest in existence), a gaggle of old tractors (the 1918
Crossmotor Case drew lots of attention), and Lloyd Van Rees’ ?
scale Case steam tractor belted to a fodder chopper. When the
pop-off valve released, lots of folks were startled!!

Occasionally, Lloyd would signal with his steam whistle. Usually
he’d get a response from Alfred’s air horn powered by a
Model A Ford engine compressor, and a sick ‘o-o-oo-gah from a
1928 1 ton IHC truck.

Inside the concession building approximately a thousand antique
pieces (vacuum cleaner, irons, washing machines, looms, wrenches,
razors, watches, scythe grinders, animal clippers, coffee grinders,
looms, etc.) were on display. Cold drinks, coffee, home baked
goods, and sausages wrapped with tortillas were vended by club
members.

The grounds and layout were immaculate. Safety lines were in
place and honored. This is one of the finest crowds I’ve ever
observed. There was no littering. Oldsters were helping the
youngsters operate the hand operated equipment (corn shellers,
grinders, etc.). Probably they’ll never meet again, nor do they
know each other by name, but there will always be the mutual
memories to soften the waning years and give strength for the long
years ahead.

This was one of the three shows sanctioned by the Rio Grande
Valley Old Farm Equipment Club. The other shows are C.K.
Koelle’s Two Banger Museum Show, February 23, 24, 1991, 6?
miles north of Shary Road, Mission, Texas and the Rio Grande Valley
Livestock Show, March 13-17, 1991, Mercedes, Texas.

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