Beech Hill Road New Ashford, MA 01237
Here in northwestern Massachusetts I heard numerous remarks about a fellow down in Pennsylvania by the name of George Logue who has the largest collection of old Caterpillar tractors and equipment on the east coast. I never did hear where it was located until someone told me he thought it was in Williamsport. A call to the Williamsport information operator produced two numbers for George Logue, one at Williamsport and one at Trout Run about 20 miles north. After a pleasant call to Mr. Logue, I received an invitation to visit his Trout Run collection. On the date agreed upon, my wife and I met a most genial host with the kind of personality which leads to the early use of first names. The personally conducted tour impressed even my wife who is about as interested in old tractors as I am in dressmaking. George is a busy excavating road and bridge building contractor and owner and operator of an asphalt hot mixing plant at Williamsport. When his father passed away in 1977 he took over the home farm at Trout Run about 15 miles north of Montoursville. This is his hideaway and home for his antiques.
It all started in 1932 when his father bought a used Caterpillar 10 for use on the farm and from then on it has been Caterpillar all the way. When he started the contracting business the first piece of equipment was a Caterpillar 933 Loader.
After taking over the farm he and his brother built roads, ponds and a small grass strip airfield (they both own planes and George has a Beech Craft Baron that he uses for business trips and searches for old Cats.)
In the interim the tractor collection was growing, so a 60' x 200' foot building was constructed. It now houses about 50 pieces of Caterpillar equipment in from good to excellent condition all painted and neatly displayed. I counted 30 tractors that I would classify as antiques from the Holt 2 and 5 ton, the Caterpillar (Best-Cat) 60 and 30 followed by the entire number series that started in 1928 that is the 10 (the original 10 previously mentioned) and the 15,20, 22,25, 28, 30, 35,50,60,65, 70 and 75 including both the 65 gas and the 65 diesel and several variations of the other models all capped by one of the first D 8's. The 8's are still in use but there is quite a difference between this model and today's. There are several other pieces of Caterpillar equipment, including power plants and generators, an early model tractor-drawn elevating grader-loader in operating condition, and a tractor drawn road grader that looks like it just came out of the factory. The elevating grader-loader was considered the ultimate in earth moving equipment in the '20's. They had their own power plant and were drawn by one and at times two Caterpillar 60's. They could cut, pick up and side load a horse-drawn dump wagon in the blink of an eye and could maintain a continuous circuit of these dump wagons. Reo, Ford Model A and other makes of dump trucks replaced the horse-drawn dump wagon, but late as 1956 these same loaders hauled by a D 8 were used on level, easily cut sections of grade in airport and highway construction.
Next to this building is a large computerized machine shop capable of handling any of the work needed to repair both the antique and the large modern equipment. Currently it is working on the development and testing of a so-called bomb picker for the U.S. Navy to be used on isolated bombing ranges, where after target practice, they can go in and pick up any duds and pieces of metal to leave it in safe condition for future inhabitants. The machine is actually an overgrown potato digger it will cut and lift an eight foot wide and up to three feet deep section of earth, sift out all metal fragments, collect them in a hopper and replace the soil. It is powered by a Cat 328 engine and pulled by a D 8 tractor. To simulate conditions, a section of farmland with the most rocks per acre is used and load after load of rock is picked up leaving the soil rock-free. When the bugs are worked out this will be quite a machine!
We then toured of the properties, roads, ponds and airfield all in all a most pleasant visit conducted by an enthusiastic collector of antique tractors, one who makes a rusty, beat up old piece of iron into a pampered 'Cat'.