Gas Engine Magazine

Old Roxbury Days

By Staff

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

  • Published on May 1, 1990
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