International Harvester Collectors P. O. Box 237 Royal Center, Indiana 46978-0237
On a late Monday in September, a large charter bus filled with 48 vintage tractor collectors drove into Berkshire Implement in Royal Center, Indiana. These vintage collectors were from several countries in Europe including England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. The tour was organized by Wade Farm Tours and the tour guide was Rob Rushen Smith.
The Berkshire family (Clyde, Marvin, Karen, Mel, and Doug) gave a tour of a typical American farm. A few points of interest were the tractors, equipment, and cattle. Many questions were asked about American weather, foliage, types of crops, and the size of the average farm. In England, the average farm size is less than 50 acres. The highlight of the farm tour seemed to be a field of popcorn. No one was familiar with popcorn. Clyde gathered a few ears from the field and passed them out as souvenirs.
The next stop after the farm tour was a tour of the implement store. While snacking on a small meal prepared by Helen and Wilma Berkshire, the 48 members wandered throughout the building and grounds inquiring about more American habits. Many commented on the vast collection of IH memorabilia present. The Berkshires had an example of the most common antique farm equipment, including several different size tractors, a threshing machine, bulldozer, trucks, lawn equipment, a reaper, an auto-wagon, and many projects in progress.
After several hours of comparing cultures, the tour bus loaded back up and headed for the next stop. After spending the night in Logansport, the stop for the next day was the Farm Progress Show in Windfall, Indiana. Overall, it seemed as if the hosts learned as much as the visitors. It was a memorable day for all that won't be forgotten soon.