P.O. Box 6, Wilmington, Vermont 05363
The first time I attended the annual Antique Tractor and Gas
Engine Show at the Stephen Foster State Folk Culture Center at
White Springs, Florida, I was amazed at the display of working
equipment and machinery, such as a corn husker, sheller, threshing
machine, baler, and grist mills, and the display of antique
tractors, gas and steam engines. (See ‘Way Down Upon the Swanee
River, There Is a Great Engine Show,’ in May 1996 GEM, pages
Invariably, when the question was asked to whom a piece of
equipment belonged, the answer was, ‘The Erixtons.’ Last
year, while attending the show, I was determined to meet the
The family consists of Lee ‘Dad’ Erixton, Belva
‘Mom’ Erixton, and four sons, Bill, Mike, Gary, and Terry,
who with their spouses and children form the Erixton family.
Most of the family resides in White Springs, Florida. The
brothers arrange leave time from their regular employment to man
the equipment at the annual show at the Stephen Foster State Folk
Culture Center. Gary is employed as a ranger at the Center.
It all began with ‘Dad’ and ‘Mom’ Erixton. The
collection started when Dad, a retired farmer, attended a
neighbor’s auction about 15 years ago, and purchased a 10-20
McCormick-Deering tractor. With a grin that extended from ear to
ear, Dad said, ‘Made a mistake, the most foolish thing I ever
The collection now contains ‘about’ 50 tractors, and 25
engines, a 10 HP gas engine being the largest in the engine
The collection is in keeping with the times. It is
‘non-discriminatory’ and ‘equal opportunity.’ No
one particular make is featured. Just the rare and unusual, such as
a John Deere ‘A’ high crop, a Farmall ‘M’ with a
single front wheel, and a regular Farmall on steel with a wide
front end. The collection contains several English and German-made
tractors, in addition to most American makes. Tractors have come
from many states, including Kansas and Maine, and from England.
The Erixton family, as assembled on April 5, 1998. From left to
right: Kathy, husband Terry Erixton, with children Kelly &
Josh; Mike Erixton; Bill Erixton, with wife Margaret and son,
Travis; Lee Erixton and wife Belva, ‘Dad & Mom’; Gary
Erixton, son Jordon (right), with friend Tommy Culpepper, posed at
the Erixton farm in front of the family Red River Special
Photo courtesy of Bill & Lee Erixton, taken at the Erixton
The collection changes as other rare tractors become available.
The sheds at the home place contain several tractors in various
stages of restoration.
Farming is now limited to raising the corn and oats used in the
demonstrations. The antique equipment is used to grow the
The family exhibits at five or six shows a year. With all of
that activity, and all of those tractors and engines to keep in
running condition, who would have time to farm?