Eastern Fayette Guilford Museum


| August/September 1990



Bowlin tractor

The Bowlin tractor is a powerful piece of equipment, but learning to drive it is difficult if one desires to go any direction but forward.

Box 55, Nineveh, New York 13813

There are many museums in the Central Leather Stocking Region of New York State. For the iron nut the one to visit is Archie Hubbard's Eastern Fayette Guilford Museum in the center of the historic village of Guilford. (Box 207, Guilford, NY 13780.) It is not as famous as the Baseball Hall of Fame and the other museums in nearby Cooperstown, but it has the largest, most unusual collection of antique tractors and farm machinery that I have ever seen.

Archie Hubbard is a lifelong collector of antiquity. Over the years he has collected just about everything. I am well acquainted with Archie, we are both long time members of the Southern Tier Antique Engine Association and its satellite club.

The best way to describe the satellite club is to call it a fraternity of iron nuts from the main club. These guys are a bunch of die hards who can't get the old iron out of their system. For knowledge they can't be beat. One Tuesday night a month they meet in different members' workshops, where they impart more knowledge on the other members. When you take a piece of old iron that has been buried in the ground fifty years and make it look like new, that is insanity, not good sense. The money spent in restoration exceeds the finished value, but that's what this hobby is all about.

Archie Hubbard takes his turn in the winter months hosting the satellite meetings. Sometimes I wonder who puts on the better show, some of the satellite club members arguing about old iron or Archie's turn of the century circus. There are clowns in both places! All joking aside, a lot of miracles came out of Archie Hubbard's workshop and the satellite club.

Archie restored a 1918 Moline tractor, he had it all painted and ready to start. When he poured water into the radiator it came out the exhaust pipe. This shook Archie up a bit, but it didn't lick him. He pinpointed the trouble, got out his trusty old mirror and nickel welding rods and proceeded to weld the invisible sand casting hole in the valve chamber. This is what retired the tractor in the first place. Today this Moline tractor holds an honored place in the museum. It's Archie's conversation piece, he has to tell all of his guests how he made this impossible weld.