Antiques In Alaska

By Staff

1601 Nelchina, Apt. 308 Anchorage, Alaska 99501

I guess I can start out by saying that this is a search for
someone, or a group of people, who have the same interest as I do.
I am hoping that this will get out to the right people, and it will
turn out to be something really big.

Let me start out by telling a little story. I grew up in a small
farming community in southern Ohio. In this small town, every
August, the Ohio Valley Antique Machinery Club, Inc., a club in
which my parents and I are active members, holds an annual show,
exhibiting farming implements from the early days. Over the years,
my father and I have accumulated quite a collection of Case and
International farm tractors, and various small one-cylinder
gasoline engines. All while I was growing up, my interest in this
hobby never diminished. When my father would bring home a ‘new
toy’ to work on, I was always right there watching a pile of
rust transform into a collector’s item. I guess you can say
that I’m a second generation collector, and hope that my
children find the same interest that I do.

I am currently enlisted in the United States Air Force, and
stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Anchorage, Alaska. It’s
a nice place to be, but I miss participating at the steam shows
back home. My parents have been sending me videotapes of the show I
normally attend, which helps a little bit, but it’s just not
the same as being there.

Every time I go somewhere, I’m always scanning the sides of
the road, peering into barns, and looking for that little bit of a
rear wheel, or a flywheel off of some marvel from the agricultural
past. Alaska seems to be one of the most ideal places for such a
search, since in the summer daylight lasts almost 24 hours, and the
scenery you encounter during your journeys is absolutely
breathtaking.

While attending the Alaska State Fair, walking down one of the
midways, I happened to look over and saw a one-third scale 65 HP
Case steam tractor. I thought I’d fall over when the guy who
was operating it told me that there was a building around the
corner full of gems similar to the one he was parading around the
grounds. Needless to say, it didn’t take me long to get there,
and find the Paradise that awaited me. As soon as I walked through
the door, I was stopped in my tracks by the enormous Holt
Caterpillar tractor sitting in front of one of the doorways.
Looking past that, I saw a haven of antique cars, one-cylinder
engines, and other memorabilia. In the back of the building, by an
open garage door, I saw a group of gentlemen gathered around a
small Fairbanks-Morse engine, watching it run, and talking to its
owner about what he had to go through to get it in the excellent
condition it was in.

I started talking to the gentleman who owned the engines, and to
this day, I can’t remember his name, but he was talking about
one day having a club in Alaska for people who were interested in
this kind of hobby. I told him I was VERY interested, and would be
willing to help in the creation of such a club. That was the last
I’ve heard of him, or the formation of a club.

So, this is my reason for writing today. I’m searching for
the man who was interested in forming an antique club in Alaska. If
he is still willing to start a club up here, I am willing to help.
If not, then I would like to be the catalyst, and send the message
to anyone interested. I have the information for the club I belong
to in Ohio as to writing bylaws, ideas for exhibits, etc., but need
some more interested people to help make this idea a reality.

If anyone, whether you collect steam or gas tractors, small
engines, antique cars, or horse-drawn equipment, or you want to
pass on some advice or ideas that you have seen at shows in the
Lower 48, I’d love to hear from you. My address is listed
above, and my phone number is (907)278-9660. I await hearing from
you!

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