Old Fashioned Plow Days 1993


| August/September 1994



30 HP tractor

Sent to us by Gary Crowe, Dir. 11 Justina St., Box 318 Heuvelton, New York 13654

The 6th annual Old Fashion Plow Days jointly sponsored by the St. Lawrence Gas and Steam Engine Association and the St. Lawrence Valley Draft Horse Club at the Howard Hutch-inson Farm on Heuvelton Rensselaer Falls Road was, as usual, bigger and better than ever. The show was held earlier than usual, on Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day weekend. In the past an antique engine show at Dekalb Junction occurred on that weekend, but it has been discontinued, so Old Fashion Plow Days was moved up a month. With cloudy, comfortable weather interrupted by an occasional light shower on Sunday, the event drew more participants and twice as many spectators as last year.

When visitors paid the modest two dollar fee to get on the grounds, they were given a four page pamphlet explaining the background of the show and some of the things to be seen. I will quote liberally from this pamphlet.

'Our name is a little misleading. Six years ago we started this event just demonstrating plowing with horses and antique tractors, but over the years we have expanded to a two day show and have added a lot more things to the show.

'Oat harvesting and threshing soon came into the show. Our two clubs jointly own the 1950 Case 22x38 threshing machine that is working here today. It is also a joint effort to plow, plant and harvest the two acres of oats that were grown here for the plow days.

'Corn harvesting is now a big part of our show. You will enjoy seeing the antique corn binders working throughout the two days. One will be a horse drawn ground drive unit owned and operated by Leo Rastley. This unit cut and put the corn into bundles which were then ejected onto the ground. These bundles were pitched onto wagons to be taken to the silo filler. Pitching corn was probably the hardest harvesting job and in the old days, the youngest men in the neighborhood were hired to do this work. The corn bundles can easily weigh 50 pounds or more and you can imagine the hard work involved in pitching these bundles hour after hour on a hot September day.' (As this writer remembers things, it was far more fun pitching corn in September than pitching hay by hand or tailing a hay loader in July. Besides, in corn harvest you were changing work with neighbors, so there were several other people working in the field with you, not just one or two as in haying. And, when changing work with neighbors, whether threshing or silo filling, there was always a great noon meal to look forward to.)